Pumping on the go: Requesting a place to pump

by Katie Mehin

Breastfeeding

As a breastfeeding mom there have been many occasions where I have found myself out and about without baby but needing to pump. In my day job I travel to other organizations often for meetings, which can present the need for finding a space to pump while there. While I could certainly at this point apply for an award for the most random and awkward places to pump–can anyone top a bench in the middle of the women’s locker room of a high end golf course– I would prefer to have somewhere a little more secluded.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against pumping in my car if I need to. However, I have found that if I reach out to the company I am visiting they are usually very proactive in helping me find somewhere private, other than a restroom, to pump.

My approach for asking for a place to pump usually changes depending on who my main contact is. If it is a female contact who I know has children I usually try to work my request through her and typically by email. If my contact is male I usually follow up with the receptionist by phone. Whether following up by phone or email my usual request sounds like this:

Hello,

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the (Insert Topic) Meeting. I was wondering if you know if there is a nursing mothers room or even conference room with a locking door and minimal windows at your site that I might be able to pop into and pump prior to the meeting? If there is a space I’d plan to arrive at 9:30am to take care of that so I don’t have to potentially leave during the meeting to take care of mom life 🙂

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Katie

By being proactive and requesting ahead of time you will save yourself and the visiting organization from having to stress about finding appropriate accommodations. And if the result is the only place they have to offer is a restroom you can make the decision for yourself if you would prefer to find an alternate place such as your car to pump or if you’re able to adjust your pumping schedule to work around the meeting.

If you choose to pump in your car I highly suggest investing in the following items:

  • Car Adapter – running out of battery mid-pumping session is the worse! Be sure to keep a car adapter available should you need power.
  • Nursing Cover – having a nursing cover is certainly a personal choice, but I often end up pumping in school parking lots (I work in education) so security guards will walk by to check on why you are in the car so as you can guess a nursing cover provides some much needed privacy.
  • Extra milk storage bags – just this past week I found myself pumping in the car and on two charter buses and guess what I forgot to pack storage bags! Luckily I was able to repurpose a water bottle and store my milk throughout the day but you can bet I came home and put a box of storage bags in my trunk for future occasions.

While pumping on the go is certainly not my favorite, I always make it a priority to keep my pumping schedule to ensure my supply stays in sync with my sons needs. By taking the steps to be proactive and reaching out to the site where you are hoping to pump or ensuring you have some essentials packed in your car you’ll find pumping on the go to be a less daunting experience.

Katie Mehin

Katie Mehin is the proud mama to two kiddos, ages six months and four years. She’s a result-oriented, high energy, Education Professional with almost 10 years hands-on experience. Passionate about assisting first-generation, non-traditional, and disadvantaged individuals in gaining success through access to education and career opportunities. This past year she began writing for the North Phoenix Moms Blog after following them and attending their events for the past four years.

@quiltykt