A nursing mom’s Facebook post went viral after airport security made a spectacle of her breast milk.
Juliana Barrett recalls the screening officer “squishing [her breast milk] in his hands, holding it up and commenting on how many ounces it was.”
“People were walking by and staring,” she wrote.
The traveling mom had done her research; she knew she was allowed to bring prepackaged breast milk on a plane. But no amount of careful planning could prepare her for an insensitive, poorly trained staff member.
In a now private Facebook post, Barrett shared her experience:
It started with the TSA guy yelling about “everything out of your pockets” to everyone. I held the cooler bag and told him what was inside. He told me to put it on the belt anyways. It went through the scanner and I watched it sit. Patiently, I waited for the TSA screener guy to grab it. He ignored it until I finally pointed it out. He grabbed it and after I told him what was inside, he asked me where my baby was because “I don’t think you can bring this on without your baby present.” Uhhh, what?! Why would I have all of this if my baby was with me?!
I let him know I was traveling for work. He then opens the bag and proceeds to pull my cold breast milk bags out (ALL 21!). Squishing them in his hands, holding them up and commenting on how many ounces they are, people are walking by and staring. … I begin to tear up as he’s handling my son’s food and throwing them into a bin to be RESCANNED! He makes comments that he’s not sure I can bring all of it on the plane.
Finally, a lady TSA agent comes over and tells him he doesn’t need to do that. She tells him I’m good to go. I’m dying. The milk is warming up. I still have six hours until I get home. … His touching my breast milk was uncomfortable, creepy, and upsetting. That’s such an intimate, private thing to me. I’d heard horror stories of milk being poured out. This is my son’s food.