Nine hours after actress Alyssa Milano tweeted about the challenge of using a breast pump on an airplane came this:
Ten ounces?! This nursing mom would have freaked.
It sometimes takes me 20 minutes to produce just 1 or 2 ounces of milk; it could take hours to collect 10. I know some moms who get up in the middle of the night to pump enough milk for the next day. I can’t imagine watching so much “liquid gold” get tossed in the trash.
“Why would I need to pump if I had the baby with me????” Milano pointed out in an exasperated tweet.
Heathrow Airport responded:
If that’s the case, there could have been a simple fix. “I would have happily spread milk in different containers (which I travel with) to comply to those liquid rules. Instead, milk was taken away with no discussion. Shampoo, lotions, etcetera [sic] were simply tested and handed back with no issue. Makes no sense at all,” she wrote.
In the U.S., breast milk is exempt from the TSA's 3.4-ounce liquid carry-on rules: Travelers flying with or without a child may bring as much breast milk on board as they need to, as long as they alert an officer at the beginning of the screening process.
Heathrow Airport’s response to Milano should have been an apology—and a promise to revisit its policy for moms who pump.