The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) strikes again! In a previous post, I shared my negative TSA experience while flying with my toddler. A friend of mine emailed me about a situation that occurred recently in Cincinnati. I wanted to bring awareness to breast-feeding mothers since this could happen to you!
A mother to a 3 1/2 month old breast fed baby went on a one-day business trip. Since the baby was not traveling with her, the mom packed a Medela breast pump. On the return trip, the mother declared she had expressed breast milk prior to screening; however the male TSA officer had a problem with her traveling alone with a pump and a cooler of milk. He couldn’t quite comprehend why the mom couldn’t simply shut down her milk production since the baby was not traveling with her. Several TSA managers were called over and three agents rummaged through and scanned all the mom’s belongings (including the milk).
The mother’s biggest fear was that she only had 20 minutes to get to her plane or she would be stuck in Cincinnati for the night. If this would have happened, the baby would be at home with daddy and no breast milk. Obviously, formula could have been used as a back up, but the point is this situation never should have occurred to start with!
I find it difficult to believe TSA is not properly training agents about expressed breast milk and how to properly handle scenarios such as this. NO mother should be treated like a criminal, especially for carrying breast milk on a plane with or without her child present! Also, a policy is no good if those that are supposed to enforce it are not aware of it.
I found the following on the official TSA website:
“Now, a mother flying without her child will be able to bring breast milk through the checkpoint, provided it is declared prior to screening.
TSA is also modifying the rules associated with carrying breast milk through security checkpoints. Mothers flying with, and now without, their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.”
Have you ever been in a predicament where you followed the rules yet were still held up by TSA at the screening checkpoint? How would you have handled this situation?
Thanks for stopping by The Unemployed Mom!