Netflix host Emily Calandrelli demands clearer TSA breastfeeding policies after security delay

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Touring with babies could be difficult for any mum or dad, and ever-changing airport safety insurance policies could make it much more troublesome.

Emily Calandrelli, host of 2020 “Emily’s Marvel Lab” on Netflix, needs clearer breastfeeding insurance policies from the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) so nursing moms can journey with breastfeeding tools with out being delayed by safety, in response to a number of experiences.

“Right here’s what occurred. Yesterday was my 1st journey away from my 10 [week] outdated son, who I’m at present breastfeeding. I’m going via safety at LAX. I introduced my pump and a couple of ice packs – only one of which was chilly (I gained’t want the opposite till I come house, after I’ll have extra milk),” the 34-year-old wrote on Twitter on Might 10. 

“I didn’t at present have any milk however I used to be planning to get a final second pumping [session] in earlier than my ~5 hour flight.”


It was the primary time the West Virginia native was away from her 10-week-old, so she hoped to pump earlier than leaving for a D.C. flight, in response to the Washington Submit.

However as a result of one ice pack was semi-frozen and one other was at room temperature, the TSA officer knowledgeable her that she was in violation of its liquid rule, which states: “Every passenger could carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers which are Three.four ounces or 100 milliliters. Every passenger is restricted to 1 quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols.”

The TSA agent advised her she must throw the ice packs away or verify them together with her baggage, in response to the Submit.

“Two male TSA brokers advised me I couldn’t convey my ice packs via [because] they weren’t frozen strong. (That is the important thing a part of the story),” the mom wrote on Twitter.

The TSA has a separate gel ice pack rule, which states: “Frozen liquid objects are allowed via the checkpoint so long as they’re frozen strong when introduced for screening. If frozen liquid objects are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid on the backside of the container, they need to meet Three-1-1 liquids necessities.”

However TSA has an exception for gel ice packs, stating: “Observe that medically needed gel ice packs in cheap portions are allowed no matter their bodily state of matter (e.g., melted or slushy). Please notify the TSA officer on the checkpoint for inspection.”

Calandrelli in the end determined to verify her ice packs together with her baggage and pump when she landed at Dulles Worldwide Airport, per the Submit.

“As I used to be leaving, the supervisor stated, ‘And don’t attempt to sneak it via a second time as a result of this may simply occur once more,’” Calandrelli advised the Submit. “It was simply not a enjoyable method to be handled.”

Passengers queue as much as cross via the north safety checkpoint Monday, Jan. Three, 2022, in the principle terminal of Denver Worldwide Airport in Denver. 
(AP Picture/David Zalubowski) )

TSA later apologized to Calandrelli final Wednesday after reviewing her case.

“The screening course of she obtained sadly didn’t meet our requirements,” TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston stated.

“We’ll proceed to have interaction with advocacy and community-based organizations to enhance our screening protocols. Moreover, we are going to re-double our coaching to make sure our screening procedures are being persistently utilized.”

The incident additionally galvanized Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) into motion on Twitter, who wrote: “I will probably be talking personally with the TSA Administrator about what occurred to you and the way we may help guarantee it doesn’t occur sooner or later to you or different girls. Once more, I’m so sorry.” 

Usually, if a nursing mom goes to be away from her child, the physique wants be reminded to maintain making milk, so they need to attempt to pump as typically as their child is consuming breast milk, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travelers line up at a security checkpoint at O'Hare International Airport.

Vacationers line up at a safety checkpoint at O’Hare Worldwide Airport.

This often means a mom touring with out their child might want to pump not less than as soon as throughout journey transmit time, contemplating time to and from the airport, the time required for safety clearance and precise time whereas within the air, stated Jennifer Horne, a lactation advisor with the Lactation Community, who join moms with lactation assist.

Moms who usually are not capable of pump throughout journey might begin to really feel breast discomfort and their breasts can change into engorged resulting in blocked milk ducts, which might finally lead to an an infection known as mastitis, she added.


“Our our bodies are made to specific the milk repeatedly,” Horne stated. “There are undoubtedly some issues they’ll run into in the event that they’re not doing that.”

If pumping isn’t an possibility when a nursing mom is away from her child, the CDC suggests “hand expression.” 

“Handy categorical, you utilize your hand to therapeutic massage and compress your breast to take away milk. Whereas it takes apply, talent, and coordination, it will get simpler over time,” the company stated.

Transportation Security Administration workers at an airport gate.

Transportation Safety Administration employees at an airport gate.

Horne additionally recommends for nursing moms who’re traveling to convey a bag of frozen peas as an alternative of ice packs as a result of they aren’t liquid.

The bipartisan invoice often known as the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act handed in 2018 requiring all giant and medium-sized airports to supply accessible non-public and clear rooms in each terminal for nursing moms in addition to child altering tables in each males’s and girls’s bogs. 

And again in 2016, the Bottles and Breastfeeding Gear Screening Act (BABES Act) signed into legislation, the place TSA Brokers should bear particular coaching concerning breast milk, system and toddler feeding tools insurance policies, in response to a press release


However Calandrelli stated the present insurance policies usually are not sufficient to guard nursing moms who journey, requesting the TSA to “classify and clearly state on their web site that breast milk, system, and associated breast pumping tools is taken into account ‘medically needed.’”

“I need President Biden to direct Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the Division of Homeland Safety to cease TSA from discriminating in opposition to mothers who journey.”

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