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Should Driving-While-Pumping Be Outlawed?

By Madeline Holler |

texting and driving, breast pumps

Is the driver behind the wheel AND a Medela?

Let’s see: drinking and driving, texting and driving, sleeping and driving are all very bad. What about pumping breast milk while driving? Should this be considered against the law, too?

Maine State Trooper Tim Marks received several complaints about a driver swerving and speeding. When he caught up to the driver in question, he pulled her over. In his report, he said the driver was pumping breast milk into a container while cruising down the Interstate.

Instead of a ticket, he issued her a warning for distracted driving and said that he suggested she complete the task before getting behind the wheel.

Props to the woman for making breastfeeding work for her and her child. But after the first swerve, she should have pulled over and put the Medela away. Distracted driving, especially while speeding, is dangerous. And nothing gets in the way of a solid nursing relationship with your baby like a mother’s death and/or jail sentence.

Have you ever pumped while driving? Where’s the most regrettable place you tried to express a little milk?

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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17 thoughts on “Should Driving-While-Pumping Be Outlawed?

  1. Gretchen Powers says:

    Totally not right.

  2. TC says:

    Bwah ha ha! You totally made my day with this one! My stance: anything that takes your hands off the wheel should not be allowed. As a former pumper, I cannot imagine how anyone could do this while driving. Maybe I wasn’t as talented.

  3. Laure68 says:

    I can’t imagine pumping while driving. That is ridiculous. There is no way you could pay attention to the road. I would not give this woman props. No matter how good breastfeeding is, it is not worth putting yours and everyone else’s life in danger. (Seriously, she couldn’t have finished pumping before she started to drive?)

  4. bob says:

    Isn’t this what express lanes are for?

  5. Bob! I knew I could count on you.

  6. bob says:

    Wouldn’t wanna be a letdown. :P

  7. TC says:

    thanks, Bob! Double whammy!

  8. Becca says:

    I guess it might be ok if you had one of those hands free pumping bra’s but why would you want to really? That poor cop he probably never expected to see that.

  9. Voice of Reason says:

    Bob for president!

  10. Forest says:

    I don’t see any problem doing this if you have A hands free set up and get set up and take it off while parked. As a working mother with a long commute I can totally understand why you would want to do this.

  11. Twintown says:

    I can also understand why you would want to do this. However, I would think it would become evident pretty quickly why it’s not a good idea. I often wish I could eat and sleep at the same time or talk on the phone and take a shower. We’re all pressed for time and multitasking rocks…unless it’s dangerous or impractical.

  12. Twintown says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say that I would totally vote for Bob!

  13. [...] be afraid to drop the computer and/or iPhone in the tub. More Posts Should Driving While Pumping Breast Milk be [...]

  14. nmcd says:

    The thing I don’t get is why you would ever *ever* want to do this without a hands-free set up. I made my own until I figured out that I could get something “designed” to do it. I actually think this could be done safely – safer than a hands-free phone call on the road but you’d have to be really conscientious about it. Better to give it a miss all together.

  15. Totally Possible says:

    As a working mom of twins, I pumped every day to and from work. It actually was a key part of my pumping routine because it allowed me to pump just once or twice per day while at work. However – I always set up before I put the car in drive and did not deattach until I was in the underground parking garage. I used both angled flanges that directed the milk downward into the bottles (no hunching) and a special bandeau that held the flanges in place. Shirt over it all so no one could see. My Medela actually had a car adapter plug so this is probably more common than the public knows…

  16. Boston Mom says:

    I’m 3 months PP and I’ve pumped while driving many times. I’m used to it and it’s not as distracting as texting or talking on the phone while driving. I have a hands-free bra so my hands are always on the wheel. Those who are not exclusive pumpers, like I am, may not understand why a mom would do this for her child. To the other moms who pump while driving: BRAVO TO YOU!!! You are doing an amazing job providing for your LO. Keep up the great work and don’t let anyone tell you that what you are doing is wrong.

  17. AmyB says:

    I also was an exclusive pumper with an hour long commute who used to pump & drive. As other have said – get setup before you pull out of the driveway_ have a handsfree bra or pumping band and an oversized shirt to cover it all, then all you have to do while driving is adjust the knob, no more complicated than turning up the radio. It’s not an ideal situation, but such is lfe. Oh, and as others have said – if it’s a problem, turn it off & pull over, don’t cause an accident.

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