Barefoot in High Heels

Works For Me!

Posted on: September 24, 2008

It’s Wednesday, which means another edition of Works For Me Wednesday from Rocks in My Dryer.

Today’s post will help you working nursing moms, or anyone who needs to use their breast pump without the comforts of privacy — a locked door, a private room, someone’s home, etc.

I work part-time in pharmaceutical sales, so I have no physical office space, unless you count my car, strewn with pens, empty water bottles, hair ties that my daughter likes to remove when she’s in her carseat, crumpled gas receipts, and plenty of baby toys and pacifiers.

So what to do when nature calls?  It’s lunchtime for Baby Girl, and I’m stuck in a parking lot?  Simple!  Pump in your car!!

And no, I’m not of the variety that hides in the backseat, hoping not to be seen behind tinted windows.  There’s a very simple solution that will leave you sitting right in the driver’s seat, pumping away, unbeknownst to passersby.

  • Tip 1:  Be sure to actually park your car.   I know this sounds obvious, but I know of a girl who used to pump (one side at a time) while she was driving down the expressway!!  No joke.  Crazy, but true.
  • Tip 2:  While I have pumped in a busy parking lot at Panera Bread, it’s usually a bit more comfortable to find a large parking lot and park a little ways away from other cars, just to ensure total discretion.  Don’t go TOO far away to a remote spot, because that could be creepy if some stranger walked by.  I like a little bit of safety in numbers.
  • Tip 3:  I usually wear a suit to work, so I already have a jacket on.  Sometimes I’ll wear a nursing tank underneath if I know I need to pump in my car — just for simplicity’s sake.  Take your jacket off and loosely put it on backwards — so the arms are in the opposite holes and the back of the jacket is covering your chest and stomach.  (If you’re not in a suit, just bring along a light jacket in the car with you to cover yourself.  Works just as well!)
  • You can now easily pump, and since you’re covered by the jacket, it’s very discreet and simple! 
  • You might need to peek once or twice to be sure you’ve got everything positioned properly, but I swear, it’s just about foolproof.   
  • Additional tips:  be sure you have either a car charger, a batter pack, and/or extra batteries, the cooler to store the milk, and all the necessary accoutrements BEFORE you turn on the machine!  Nothiing worse than finding out you forgot the bottles on the counter at home!  AND, stash a little burp cloth in your pump to cover your lap — I’ve too often gotten a drop of milk on a fresh-from-the-dry-cleaner skirt!

OK, now some of you might use a nursing cover instead of a jacket — that’s would work just as fine.  But since I never used a nursing cover, and the ones I see are usually of some garish fabric, it would seem to call more attention to myself.  The jacket??  Genius — as it looks like something I’d be wearing anyway.  And no one has gotten close enough to my car to even wonder what I’m doing.    (Versus the time I had to pump in the bathroom at a wedding recently, and some young girls said in the next stalls, “What is THAT noise?”  Of course, I answered wearily, “A breast pump,” while they nervously laughed.)

So THAT, my friends, is a tip that works for me.  I’m almost ready to hang up that pump and the nursing tanks, though — my 10 1/2-month-old is beginning to wean herself during the day.  I’m just waiting long enough so I can switch right to whole milk.  Good thing — I’m ready to wear my jackets the way they were intended, and spend my lunch hour in a restaurant instead of my car!  🙂

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out this site!

5 Responses to "Works For Me!"

Oh, yeah I’ve been there. I don’t mean to make this comment EXTREMELY long, but about the young girls in the bathroom, I had a similar story. I was on a camp out with the church youth group (my first time away from the baby over night) one of the girls said “something smells like baby milk, like my niece drinks.” UM, yeah, that would be me, I leaked some in the night. I was mortified.

I used to pump on the expressway… never had a single problem! On the other hand, there was the time I was pumping in an empty parking lot on top of a building while eating my chili from Wendy’s (I was taking grad classes and had to seriously multitask!), when a cop came up… because apparently parking there wasn’t allowed except for large events. I was so freaked out I spilled my chili AND dropped one flange… Not good.

Thanks for bringing back some memories!

lol…love your writing style! I have so been there…

I had just started working at a new job and there was no where else to pump but the breakroom. I had to barricade the door and use my not-so-discreet and not-so-quiet breastpump. The first time I did this, when I came out a male co-worker asked me what I was doing in there. LOL! I told him and he turned like five shades of red, mumbled “oh” and walked off hurriedly. LOL. You brought back some great memories…lol!

Oh and the whole backwards jacket thing…pure genius! Wish I had known about it then 🙂

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