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4 Tips For Breast Pumping On the Go

Moms seem to do it all. From globetrotting to breastfeeding, life can get pretty hectic when you have a new baby and a packed calendar. 

When you first start breastfeeding in the privacy of your home, it might not be too complicated. However, this simplicity often disappears once you start pumping. Between the pads and the tubing, plus more bottles that need to be cleaned than you thought possible—breast pumping can be a pretty intricate part of motherhood. 

Not to mention pumping in public, while completely normal, is a new hurdle to cross (although a breast pump bag can make your life a whole lot easier.)

With a busy schedule and places to be, new moms may feel overwhelmed by this feeding strategy. Don’t worry, this is completely natural. That’s why we put together these four tips, so you can become an expert at breast pumping on the go!


#1 How Do You Pump Breast Milk On the Go?

 

The first of these breastfeeding tips for new moms will cover the basics—how do you pump breast milk when you’re out and about? The best way to facilitate your mobile pumping is by investing in some handy portable pump accessories, such as:

  • Nursing bra – Many new moms ditch their uncomfortable underwire for the ease of a nursing bra. Why is a nursing bra such a lifesaver for new moms? First and foremost, they have cups that flip down for easy access without taking off your whole bra. Secondly, the material of a nursing bra will keep you comfortable even on your heaviest pumping days. Any mom on the go will find that pumping is much more portable with the right undergarments.

  • Pumping bra – A pumping bra is a little different from a nursing bra. This type of bra is equipped with holes on the cups. Your pump can be hooked up to these holes to extract the milk supply without revealing your breast at all. This is a great alternative for pumping moms who want as much privacy as possible when pumping publicly—though they can be a bit more challenging to wear under regular clothing.

  • Manual pump – Electric pumps are great, especially when your arms are tired from holding the baby all day (are newborns supposed to be this heavy?). The downside to these gadgets, however, is that they aren’t very portable. From dying batteries to tangled charging cords, an electric pump won’t always work when you’re out on the town. As a backup, it’s always good to bring a manual pump when traveling. Though they may be a bit harder on your hands, they’re reliable and easily transported.

  • Portable cooler – Does your fridge have more milk supply bottles than it does condiments? Or did you opt for a separate, mini-fridge that’s just for breast milk? Either way, these handy appliances can’t exactly hit the road with you. That’s where a portable cooler baby bottle bag comes in handy. For maximum mobility, you’ll want to pick up something that’s lightweight and insulated—more of a lunchbox than an icebox. This will give you a cool place to store milk when you’re not home.

  • This list isn’t exhaustive. There are tons of helpful tools that breastfeeding moms can utilize. If you’re looking to step up your pumping game, don’t be afraid to browse for new accessories. Plus, who really needs an excuse to do some online shopping?


    The Bottom Line: Pumping on the go isn’t always easy. Having the right tools can make a dramatic difference and offer you peace of mind.


    #2 Is it Illegal to Pump in Public?

     

    Breastfeeding and pumping are subject to a ton of needless taboo. Something so natural has no place in lawmaking—yet many rules and restrictions still stand in the way of normalizing nursing. Breast pumping mothers want to do what’s best for their child, without receiving a scolding in public (we know, talk about ridiculous). 

    To that end, here’s what you need to know about pumping laws:

  • Public breastfeeding – Since 1999, federal law has allowed mothers to publicly breastfeed in all fifty states, Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The specifics of breast pumping, on the other hand, is more of a gray area. Most states have laws that protect breastfeeding activities from being considered “public indecency,” but researching the laws for your own state will help you avoid any issues. 

  • Spaces for pumping – The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2019 requires many public spaces to offer clean, private areas for new mothers to nurse or pump. These facilities include workplaces, federal buildings, airports, and more. Lactation rooms must be separate from the restroom, and provide a place for mothers to sit comfortably. So, if you’re ever in doubt of whether or not pumping is allowed, always check to see if there’s a designated space for it.

  • The Bottom Line: Breastfeeding in public is legal—though there are some questions surrounding a public pumping session. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, many public places offer lactation rooms where new mothers can pump safely.

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    #3 Can I Take My Breast Pump On a Plane?

    If there’s anyone that gets a little break from the strict TSA guidelines—it’s moms.

    New moms have a lot on their plate, and even more in their diaper bagMake sure you are on top of how to organize a diaper bag. Fortunately, there’s flexibility with packing when you and your little one are on the go. The following items can be carried onto your flight without causing any security issues (because who has time for a pat down when you’re carrying a baby):

    • Breast pumps
    • More than 3.4 ounces of breastmilk in a milk bag
    • Larger quantities of milk (that won’t fit in a quart sized milk bag)
    • A baby bottle cooler for milk storage

    The best tips when it comes to flying with breast pumping gear is to let the TSA agents know beforehand. This will allow for a speedier process and less holdup of the line. Bottles can either be removed from your bag and screened separately, or the entire cooler bag can be sent through the x-ray machine. 

    In some cases, security agents may request your permission to open the bottles and inspect their contents. In such a situation, you do have the option to forgo this step and opt for an alternative screening process (though this will be more thorough and take longer). It’s also perfectly legal to travel with larger amounts of breast milk, even if your child is not with you. 

    A breast pump—and all its accessories—are considered medical devices and will always be allowed on a plane. During your flight, you’ll be allowed to grab the pump from your carry on and get to work! 

    Because—let’s be honest—breast milk doesn’t wait for the seatbelt sign to turn off.

    The Bottom Line: Breastfeeding moms shouldn’t have fear of flying! Pumps, bottles, and other baby travel accessories can be packed directly in your carry on.


    #4 How Do I Pack My Pump Bag?

    With the O.K. to fly and a booked ticket, only one question remains: What do you carry in your breast pump bag?

    Packing as a new mom can be tough. Whether you’re flying across the country, or simply driving to the store—the gear you need to bring can feel like you’re preparing to climb Mount Everest. 

    The best way to break down this intimidating task? Take it one step at a time

  • Step 1 – First, you’ll want to pack the essentials. This includes your breast pump, and any pieces that attach to it. These may include the breast shields, tubes and valves, and any electric parts if applicable. 

  • Step 2 – Once you’ve finished pumping, you’ll need a place to store the milk. This is where bags and bottles come in handy. The number of containers you bring will depend on how long you’ll be out, but most nursing mothers find that pumping every 2-3 hours does the trick. Storing milk in ziplock bags may save space, but pumping into bottles can save time later—the choice is up to you!

  • Step 3 – The last step to packing your pump bag will focus on the extras. While carrying around more stuff may not sound appealing, you’d be surprised what a difference the right items can make in terms of comfort. For example, a nursing towel can provide privacy in a pinch and help absorb stray milk droplets to prevent stains on your clothes. Wipes and disinfectants will also come in handy for quicker cleanup after a pumping session. Basically, anything that will help you get back on the move with greater efficiency may be worth packing in your pumping bag!

  • New moms will need to leave a little extra time when packing. As much as we love our babies, you have to accept that they come with a lot of baggage—literally. Those little cheeks make it all worth it.

    The Bottom Line: Pack the basics as well as a few extras to make mobile pumping more comfortable. 


    Make Portable Pumping Stylish with BÉIS

    Traveling doesn’t have to be impossible, even when you’re on a strict pumping schedule. And when you pack with BÉIS, it doesn’t have to be void of style either thanks to these breast pumping tips and tricks. 

    Our signature pump bag is the perfect combination of style and utility. With pockets for your personal items, breast pump parts, pumping accessories, a laptop sleeve for working moms, and even water-resistant lining—this sleek breast pump tote bag has everything you need.

    Make life as a pumping mom a whole lot easier with the BÉIS Pumping Bag! Now log off girl, you’ve got a flight to catch.


    Sources:

    1. Mom Loves Best. Pumping on the Go: How to Breast Pump in Public. https://momlovesbest.com/feeding/breast-pumps/pumping-in-public 

    2. Exclusive Pumping. How to Pack Your Breast Pump Bag When You’re Going Back to Work. https://exclusivepumping.com/how-to-pack-your-breast-pump-bag/ 

    3. Kindred Bravely. Nursing Bras 101: A Complete Guide for the Breastfeeding Mom. https://www.kindredbravely.com/blogs/bravely/nursing-bras-101 

    4. Upgraded Points. Flying with Breast Milk—Everything You Need to Know. https://upgradedpoints.com/flying-with-breast-milk 

    5. TSA. Traveling With Children. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children 

    6. Exclusive Pumping. Flying With a Breast Pump and Pumping on a Plane. https://exclusivepumping.com/flying-as-an-exclusive-pumper-how-to-pump-on-a-plane-with-your-baby/ 

    7. NCSL. Breastfeeding State Lawshttps://www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx 
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