‘Emily’s Wonder Lab’ Star Calls Out Inept TSA Agents Who Humiliate Breastfeeding Moms

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Emily’s Wonder Lab star Emily Calandrelli took to social media to share an upsetting experience she had while going through airport security during her first trip away from her infant son. Unfortunately, many other breastfeeding moms replied that they, too, had experienced similar harassment by uneducated TSA agents.

“Today was my 1st trip away from my 10wk old son, who I’m currently breastfeeding,” Calandrelli wrote on Instagram. “I’m going through security at LAX. I brought my pump and 2 ice packs – only 1 of which was cold.” She explained she was planning to pump when she got through security before her 5 hour flight but was told she couldn’t bring her ice packs through because they weren’t “frozen solid.”

“Two male TSA agents told me I couldn’t bring my ice packs through bc they weren’t frozen solid. I asked to speak to someone else & they had their boss come over & he told me the same,” she said. “He said ‘if you had milk on you, this wouldn’t be a problem.'” Sigh. The MIT engineer and Emmy-nominated TV host then asked to speak to a female agent and was denied.

“He asked (*multiple times*) ‘well WHERE is the baby.’ He said if my child was with me, it wouldn’t be an issue,” she wrote. The fact that those questions are even being asked is ridiculous. TSA agents should be educated on what breastfeeding moms need to bring with them on flights so they don’t pull them out of line and harass them, as they did with Calandrelli.

The new mom explained they made her check her ice packs, which meant she couldn’t pump and save her milk for her son. “I cried in the airport,” she said. “I was embarrassed about having to explain breastfeeding to 3 grown men. I felt humiliated and emotional.”

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A post shared by Emily Calandrelli (@thespacegal)

She continued: “But guess what? They were wrong. TSA rules specifically state that you are allowed to have gel ice packs (regardless if they are fully frozen!!) for medically necessary purposes. And emptying my breasts on a regular schedule and providing food for my child IS medically necessary (and especially impt with the current formula shortage!)”

She said after she posted about her experience, she was flooded with notes from other moms who shared their own negative experiences. She urged more women to come forward, saying she’s done feeling embarrassed for the ineptitude of those that should know how to do their jobs. “I won’t let them make me feel embarrassed for their lack of understanding and training,” she concluded her post, “and neither should you.”

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