In my pumping journey, I have had the opportunity to pump in various locations, including in the car, on an airplane, and at the airport. I usually travel with my baby, who drinks everything I pump within 6-8 hours, so unfortunately this article won’t have many storage tips if you are on an extended trip away from your baby (although I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments!).
Best Products for Pumping and Traveling
- An infinity scarf. This will cover the pump without tipping people off to what you are doing (usually I spread the scarf out more than the picture above to completely cover the bottles).
- Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump & Accessory Wipes. This way you can clean on-the-go, which is especially important if you don’t have access to a sink or clean water.
- A manual pump. Even if you have an electric one, bring the manual pump as a backup in case your batteries die or you don’t have easy access to an outlet.
- A pumping bra or pumping bra kit.
- A small cooler and storage bags for expressed milk.
Pumping in the Car
I usually pump when I am the passenger in a car. I either use my manual pump or my electric pump with batteries, and cover up with an infinity scarf. However, I have also pumped while driving a car. To do this safely, you have to use a hands-free pumping system. Turn on your electric pump before starting the car. If there are any issues while you are driving, pull over and adjust accordingly. I would only recommend doing this after you have practiced doing other activities while pumping hands-free.
Pumping on the Plane
Planes nowadays usually have outlets by the chairs, so chances are you can use an electric pump. However, this last trip I had both my electric and manual pumps as a “small personal item” that I could stow beneath a chair just in case the outlet wasn’t working or there were other issues.
Pumping at the Airport
Many airports offer lactation rooms for mothers so you can pump in privacy. Look up the airports in advance to see if they offer these services and where the rooms are located. The amount of space will vary based on the airport. I’ve seen lactation rooms as simple as a booth with a chair and outlet. I’ve also seen rooms that have a play area, a sink, changing station, and spare diapers!