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Scientist & Host of 'Emily's Wonder Lab' Gets Harassed by TSA for Traveling with Breastmilk, Calls Out Their Infuriating Unprofessionalism

Society is not an easy place for nursing mothers. Though we've come a long way for women who are breastfeeding, it is still an ignorant storm out there—especially if you are traveling. Emily Calandrelli, Scientist and host of the Netflix series Emily's Wonder Lab, had just started going back to work only 10 weeks after giving birth to her new baby boy. She was flying from LAX back home and was traveling well-prepared to pump her breastmilk to give to her baby when she got home. She was unprepared, however, for the harassment she was about to endure from the TSA. 

 

As a traveling mom who is breastfeeding it is necessary to travel with your pumping equipment and  a cooler with ice packs for the pumped milk, to keep it from spoiling. It's also very important to keep the pumping on a proper schedule for mom, because the mom can risk infection if she doesn't. Calandrelli had all her proper equipment and was planning on pumping right before getting on her five hour flight home. Then she would feel comfortable with no pain from having a chest full of milk and she would be able to immediately feed her baby when she got home. 

 

The TSA, however, must have saw a threat and went to the point of humiliating this mother simply because they believed she was not allowed to bring on board gel ice packs that weren't frozen all the way. She originally posted about the horrible experience on her Facebook and ended up getting hundreds of comments from other moms who also suffered through TSA when they were breastfeeding. Now, Calandrelli posted a follow up to her Facebook post on TikTok to thoroughly explain what went down. 

 

“My TSA experience as a breastfeeding mom”

@thespacegal

My TSA experience as a breastfeeding mom 😭

♬ original sound - The Space Gal

 

The entire situation is extremely infuriating and just embarrassing, mostly for the mom but also for TSA—like, come on, TSA, if you're going to enforce rules around traveling moms, then you should at least do a little research on the subject. It's called professionalism. Apparently, Calandrelli, says that it was two male TSA agents who were giving her trouble and even when she asked for a female agent (which is a normal and acceptable thing to ask since these agents sometimes have to get up close and personal), they refused. They kept asking her where the baby was, like that was an acceptable questions. Like, my guy, if the baby was with me, I wouldn't need to pump, now would I?? They treated her like an incompetent child and forced her to check her ice packs, so then she was unable to pump her milk in fear it would spoil if she did and had to fly the 5 hours in agony. She later checked the TSA rules and it clearly states that she was completely in the right to travel with her gel packs. 

 

Forced to Dump Pumped Breastmilk

 

Many women have come forth on her posts about the situation expressing their horror stories as new mothers traveling—so much wasted breastmilk having to be pour out. 

 

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About the Author

Earth-based writer maybe a little too old for TikTok, yet is always on it. She likes dogs and has end-of-the-world humor. She writes her posts with a "don't @ me" attitude.

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