Pumping at work & in the car ?s — The Bump
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Pumping at work & in the car ?s

I still have several weeks before I return to work, and I'm hoping I'll still be BFing then, which means pumping at work.....and pumping is definitely not my favorite thing. (I had a 30-week preemie with my first and EP for 6.5 weeks before giving up; I hated pumping then, but it doesn't seem bad now that I just do it 1-2x/day.) Anyway, I've read on this board that you can just refrigerate the whole bottle and pump parts together, so you don't have to wash them every time. That's good to hear, but I thought it was a no-no to mix refrigerated milk and fresh (warm) milk, so I'm confused. I'm still trying to think about the logistics of when/where/how I'll pump quickly at work and if I could safely pump while driving on my way to/from work. That would save me a ton of time and stress to have to pump 2 less times at work. 

Please share any advice you have in terms of the refrigerating thing and pumping in the car. I mean, really spell it out for me how you do those things. :)  TIA!

Re: Pumping at work & in the car ?s

  • I have a PackIt cooler bag and also have used a ice pack with a cooler bag but I bring several collection bottles. I pump into 2 of them. Put lids on the bottles and attach 2 new bottles to the pump parts then put that in a ziplock and store all of it in the fridge or cooler. I have done it this way with 4 4oz bottles or 2 4 oz and an 8 oz bottle. You can combine the milk after it is all cold or all warm but should not mix hot and cold together.

    I've pumped in the car as well by hooking ponytail holders together and around the pump flange and the other side to my bra nursing hooks. I throw a cover over so no one car see. I just put it all I. The cooler when I'm done and when I get to work or home, I transfer the milk into a more secure bottle.
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  • I pumped to and from work for nearly 18 months! I used a hands free pumping bra thing (I just kept my actual bra on under/around my upper waist) -- Medela Symphony with car adapter. I also wore a cape-like shawl thing just so fellow drivers didn't get any sneak peeks and/or so I could detach or re-attach in the parking lot and not worry about someone popping up right next to me. 

    I also didn't wash my parts during the day - they all went straight into the fridge after use. I had multiple sets -- so they would get a heavy soaking in soap once I got home for the day. I wouldn't stress about mixing a couple of drops of refrigerated milk with whatever you pump fresh.
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  • I also pumped in the car as well as at work for 1 year! Hands free bra is your best friend as well as a pump car adaptor. I second what the ladies above said. Keep several bottles in your pump bag then just switch them out after each pump. I bought spare pump bottles and lids or dumped into a larger bottle (that baby would drink from) and then reused pump bottles. Just don't mix warm and cold milk but if u throw all of it in the fridge you can mix cold milk after. Good luck!

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  • mommatotwo2mommatotwo2
    250 Answers 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary
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    edited December 2014
    Like PP have said, you don't want to mix full bottles of warm milk with full bottles of cold milk because of the risk of spoilage when you bring a whole bottle of cold milk up several degrees by dumping a full bottle of warm milk into it.  A few drops of the cold milk left over from the last nursing session are ok.

    My routine from months 3-12 at work:

    Pump into bottles. 20 minutes, each side.  Dump bottles of milk into dated storage bags. Store bags inside of a soft side cooler with 2 ice packs.  I used the Lanisoh, double zipper and never had a problem with leaks.  I used another soft side cooler with 1 icepack and a ziplock bag to keep my parts cold in between pumps (bottles and pump parts) during my workday.  I had multiple pump parts so that I could just throw them in the dishwasher every night.  I had enough for 3 days, in case we didn't run the dishwasher every night, but usually we did.  I had enough membranes for the week and just sanitized those in boiling water once a week (I kept a small container on the counter and stored them there for the week).  When I got home, I combined my bags into bottles for the next day and left any excess in the fridge.  When I made bottles the next day, I'd use any excess first and at the end of the week would freeze any remaining excess, which for me, was usually none or very little. For moms with a large freezer stash, they'd freeze any excess and any Friday yield and use Frozen on Monday, to keep a freezer stash fresh.

    As far as car pumping, I only did it a few times when I had to commute to our 2nd office and was still driving during my normal pumping time. You'd use a hands free pumping bra, a car adapter, a nursing/pumping cover.  You'll want at least 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted pumping time, so I'm not sure how that works with your commute and daycare drop offs/etc. For safety, you'll need to hookup and disconnect while you aren't driving. 

    To keep supply up, ideally you will pump 3x in a typical 9ish hour workday. For me that was about 9, 12, 3. 

    Good Luck!


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  • Thanks so much for your replies and for being very specific. I will need to get a car adapter definitely. I'm glad that was mentioned, bc I thought I would have to use my battery pack and go through tons of batteries. My commute is 25-30 minutes, so I will need to have a place to regularly stop at the 15-20 minute mark, since I don't want to be detaching in the parking lot at school as other teachers and students/parents are pulling in or walking by. My breaks are 10:30 and 1:00. If I can pump in the car before work (7:15) and after work (4:30), that should work out perfectly. I'm just stressed about pumping in my classroom, bc I get interrupted a lot, but yet I don't want to go into the nearby bathroom, bc I want to get some work done in my room. Did anyone have a sign saying "do not disturb "or something? I would like to have something posted somehow saying what I'm doing without the students knowing. I've had custodians, tech people, and my principal all unlock the door and come in, even after I've locked the door (so I could make a phone call or get more work done), so just doing that won't cut it. Any ideas about what to put on the sign would be appreciated. :)
  • I'm a teacher, and have been pumping for months. My advice is be honest. Make sure your administrators know you have pump breaks. Don't beat around the bush.

    If custodians are unlocking your door, tell them before you return what's going on. Get comfortable with pumping and talking about it :)

    I have a red sign that I hang over the door knob that says DO NOT ENTER OR KNOCK. The kids have asked why they can't come in, and my response is I'm working. NBD

    Good luck
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  • I use one set of pump parts for the drive in to worx my first pump at work. They are only 4 hours apart, so no need to refrigerate.

    I use a second set of parts for second pump at work and if I need to pump on the way home- within about 4 hours.

    I usually pour all milk into milk bags so they are easier to keep cool, using less space, in a thermal bag with ice packs.

    I pump by holding both with my arm and I use a cover up.

    Good luck!
  • A LC once told me that the car adapter for the Medela PISA is really powerful and a better suction than when plugging into a wall outlet. I don't know if it applies to other makes and models, but I thought that was interesting :)
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