After suffering a humiliation at the airport, this mom asks for more breastfeeding education

by Mark Bennett

May 27, 2022

After suffering a humiliation at the airport, this mom asks for more breastfeeding education

After pregnancy and the birth of a baby, the breast feeding phase starts. This is a taxing period for every mother, not only for what she physically goes through, but also for all the criticism to which some women are frequently exposed to. Not everyone believes, in fact, that it is acceptable for mothers to breastfeed their babies in public and these mothers often are the target for vicious criticism.

The subject of this story knows this experience very well. Emily Calandrelli is an aerospace engineer, TV presenter and mother of two children who, a few days ago, was at the center of a story that concerned breastfeeding. Let's see what happened.

via Twitter/ Emily Calandrelli

Emily had her second baby about 10 weeks ago and, after some time off work, she got back on track and tackled her first postpartum work trip. To do this, she had to take a plane.

So what happened? Not having the baby with her, the woman had to use a breast pump to manage her daily production of breast milk. In order not to throw the milk away, she had prepared everything necessary to store it, including two bags of gel to freeze and use to keep the milk fresh. When she got to the security controls, however, all did not go as she expected.

Two agents from the Transport Security Administration (TSA) stopped her and asked her what the two ice packs were for. The woman explained the situation and stated that the ice was being used to preserved her milk during the trip. Since one was frozen and the other was not, as it would be used later, the officers would not accept her explaination and told her to get rid of the milk.


The woman told the story on social media: "They told me that I could not bring the bags of milk on the plane because they were not solid, but liquid. I then asked to speak to one of their bosses. A boss was called immediately and he told me the same, identical thing that his subordinates had said. They asked me several times where the baby was and, when I stated that I was traveling alone, they told me that if I had had the baby with me, things would have be easier. But without the baby, they could not allow the bags of milk onto the plane."

Emily asked to speak to a female agent, but she was denied this requeest and she had to explain the whole milk storage process to three men. "I told them that it hurts to stop normal breast milk production and it was all very embarrassing. I also deleted my first draft message about this incicent, but then I decided to go public."

Indeed, it seems incredible that similar cases related to breastfeeding will continue to occur and that a woman does not have the right to do what she deems best for herself, for her baby and for her health. The TSA agents clearly did not understand the importance of emptying the breasts for a new mother's bodily well-being.

Initially, the problem seemed to only concern the rule forbidding any liquids being taken on board a plane, Emily realized that there was something else going on. First of all, and from subsequent investigations, it emerged that it is permitted to bring anything related to health onto a plane. She continued: "Beyond this, however, the thing that upsets me the most, is the ignorance around the subject of breastfeeding. There are too many people today who still consider this practice uncomfortable to watch and that it should be kept hidden, but it's not like that. "

Many other women, in comments responding this mother's post, have told of many negative experiences they have had in this regard - especially at the airport. If the agents in question had had a deeper knowledge of the subject, a situation like the one Emily went through would not have happened.

It would take very little to educate, inform and avoid such scenes which, we are sure, are not pleasant for those who have to go through them, don't you think?