Traveling with breast milk: Know your rights
This post made my blood boil. Written by a breast feeding mother who was departing on a flight from an airport in the UK, she describes how she had been on a trip, breast pump in tow, and was trying to bring back the milk in her carry-on luggage. She followed all the rules as she knew them, declaring the milk and such, and basically, the security person, who didn’t know the rules but wouldn’t admit it, went on a power trip and wound up making her DUMP. ALL. THE. MILK. You should really read her post and get all the verbal gems this idiot bestowed upon her.
I myself had a somewhat similar experience traveling last year, though nothing like forced milk dumpage happened to me. At a certain airport (which shall remain nameless, because really, and very unfortunately, they are not unique in their unfriendly treatment of mothers), I declared my carried-on breast milk as we were going through security. I even had it in a plastic bag, like you’re supposed to with all liquids. They pulled it aside and swipe tested it, and I think there was a malfunction of the system or something–some sort of alert was set off, and they said they had to pat me down. So yeah. I got frisked. For having breast milk in my carry-on luggage. I’m clearly dangerous.
The bottom line is this: If you are planning to travel with breast milk in your carry on, do yourself a favor and print out a copy of the rules and bring them with you. For the US, it’s TSA–found here; for other countries, I’m assuming it’ll be country-specific.
The author of the post mentioned above was told “You’re not allowed to travel with breast milk unless you have a note from the doctor explaining why your child can only drink breast milk.” Which is of course complete horse you-know-what. When she asked to see the rules, she was refused, and they informed her that she can look it up on the Internet at home. Nice.
When I was first given this advice about bringing my own copy of the rules, I found this unacceptable, as knowing the rules is ostensibly um, like, the job of TSA and comparable workers. However, if it would save one from friskment or worst-case having to dump out that hard-earned milk, I’m going to go ahead and call it worth it.