Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mom forced to dump breastmilk at Vegas Airport

Just makes me sick. I hope I can get away with never having to fly again, as long as I live. The second you enter an airport you have lost any and all rights. They can look at you naked through their little X-ray machines, they can force you to stop breastfeeding your hungry baby because it offends the flight attendant, they can make your four year old shake and cry while they take her away to a little box to search her shoes (this was done to my child),and now, even though this woman followed all the stupid, idiosyncratic rules; she was forced to dump out her milk(and for those who don't know- this was hours and hours of pumping milk)because the low to no intelligence person at the counter thought that no breastmilk was allowed on the plane without a baby.

Imagine-three ounce bottles are allowed and breast milk, or that other crap from a can that people feed their babies, is allowed of any size if your baby is there. But this idiot thought that if the allowable three ounce container had breastmilk instead of shampoo it had to be tossed.

Anyone who thinks-oh well, she doesn't have to fly-Ya right-try turning around and walking out at that point with your little bottles. You'd be placed in a little bottle yourself.
-Tasha
The Orange County Register

A local woman who was forced to throw away her breast milk at an airport last week is fighting to change the way nursing mothers are treated in the changing world of high-security travel.

Airport security agents in Las Vegas on Friday banned Rachel Popplewell of Capistrano Beach from bringing her breast milk on a flight to Orange County because she didn't have her baby with her.

Popplewell, who says she followed all the rules for bringing liquids on a plane, sent a written complaint to the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport screening.

"You should be allowed to carry it, and you should be treated like a human being who is feeding your child," Popplewell said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the federal agency said he had not seen a record of the incident.

"If she had exactly what was required, I don't understand what happened," Nico Melendez said. "It should not have happened. Please accept our apology."

Popplewell, a marketing director, flew to Las Vegas for a one-day business trip to a footwear trade show. While there, she used her breast pump to collect 6 ounces of milk, which she planned to bring home to her 9-month-old son, Mason.

Popplewell divided the milk into two 3-ounce bottles and placed the bottles in a zip-top plastic bag, as stipulated by security regulations. But when Popplewell, 40, told a screener at McCarran International Airport what was in the bottles, she was forced to throw her milk away.

The Transportation Security Administration has restricted carry-on liquids since summer after an incident in England alleged to have been a terrorism plot involving liquid explosives. Liquids must be in 3-ounce containers, which must be in plastic bags.

"If you put your liquid in your 3-ounce container, then you meet the requirements of transporting," spokesman Melendez said. "It could be shampoo, toothpaste or breast milk."

The agency will let a parent carry a larger container of breast milk or baby formula if the parent is traveling with a baby or a toddler.

But Popplewell was told – incorrectly, according to Transportation Security Administration officials – that she needed to have her baby even to carry on 3-ounce bottles of breast milk.

The agency's Web site states that to carry breast milk on a plane "you must be traveling with a baby or toddler" but leaves out the fact that anyone can carry the milk in the appropriate small bottles, with or without a baby.

Popplewell says that if she had her baby with her, she wouldn't need to bring bottles at all.

The confusion has breast-feeding advocates criticizing the policy, which they say creates more headaches for a mother traveling without her child.

"That is probably one of the unfortunate circumstances of this liquid ban," Melendez said. "There's no way for us to know what it is, or to verify that specific need, if there's not a baby with the person."

Popplewell, who has breast-fed all three of her children, said she was heartbroken and outraged at having to throw away her milk. Her meticulous planning, she said, made the loss even more frustrating.

Before leaving on the trip, Popplewell bought a battery pack for her pump and consulted a lactation specialist on how to pump and carry milk while traveling. She then confirmed with John Wayne Airport security officials that she was doing everything the right way.

"I got the feeling that it depended on the TSA person you encountered," she said. "Anybody who knows anything about pumping knows this is ridiculous. A man must have written the rules or something."

More here

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