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article imageTSA forces woman to pump breast milk into bottles before boarding

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 2, 2012 in Travel
Lihue - A Hawaiian mom said she was embarrassed after the TSA asked her to "prove" her breast pump was real by filling the bottles before being allowed to board.
Amy Strand was flagged in the security line at the Lihue Airport in Kauai on Wed. She was traveling with her 9-month-old daughter, reported KITV 4 News.
She had an electric breast pump with her, and because the bottles in the carry-on bag were empty, she indicated she was asked to "prove" the breast pump was real.
TSA reportedly wanted Strand to demonstrate the pump and fill the bottles. The breastfeeding mother asked if there was a private area where she could pump the milk, and the TSA sent her to a women's bathroom to fill the bottles.
KOLO-TV reported, Strand said, "I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women's bathroom."
Strand describes being embarrassed and humiliated as she had to pump her breast in front of every individual coming into that bathroom. This was the only place to do it since there was only one outlet.
"I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast, in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom," Strand told KITV.
After the bottles were full, Strand was allowed to board the plane.
A recent modification in TSA rules regarding breast milk was made, where the milk does not need to be tested," as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint."
Media reports say breast pumps are classified as medical equipment, and may or may not be subjected to additional screening.
So why did TSA agents subject Strand to this treatment?
They shouldn't have, apparently. Several media outlets report the security agency acknowledges the agent made a mistake.
"We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her," the TSA said, reported KUVE.
More about transportation secretary, Tsa, Breastfeeding, breast pump, Embarrassment
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