Tags: heathrow | breast milk

Heathrow Breast Milk Confiscation Prompts Outcry From Mothers

Image: Heathrow Breast Milk Confiscation Prompts Outcry From Mothers
(Woravit Vijitpanya/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Apr 2016 09:53 AM

Officials at Heathrow Airport forced a mother to throw away nearly four gallons of breast milk during her security screening, sparking cries of anger and protest from mothers around the world.

On April 20, Jessica Coakley Martinez posted a lengthy description of the incident on her Facebook page, a post that has now been shared more than 4,500 times.



She wrote of her efforts to pump between meetings, business lunches, and taxi rides during her two-week business trip.

She described pumping “while sitting on toilets in public restrooms; stuffed in an airplane bathroom; in unsecured conference rooms, showers, and closets” and detailed convincing hotels to store the milk in their restaurant freezers and “lugging this giant block of frozen breast milk through four countries” before the milk was confiscated at Heathrow.

“You made me dump nearly 500oz of breastmilk in the trash,” Martinez wrote. “You made me dump out nearly two weeks [sic] worth of food for my son.”

Heathrow’s limit for carry-on liquids is 3.4 ounces. That is stricter than U.S. Transportation Security Administration rules, which allow larger quantities of breast milk, formula and juice, The Washington Post reported.

Martinez wrote that she was willing to part with 200 ounces of liquid milk, but hoped to keep her 300 ounces of frozen milk. She wrote that she offered to check the bag, but wasn’t allowed to leave and re-enter the airport.

“It was as if you were almost proud to deny me at every possible point of compromise,” she wrote.

The incident has sparked a widespread debate.

Fredrick Kunkle, writing for the Post said: “[I]t’s easy to sympathize with Coakley Martinez’s predicament. If the rules on airport security are too stringent, then let’s change them — but it’s also worthwhile to see things from the perspective of the men and women who try to enforce them.”

According to the International Business Times, a spokesperson for Heathrow said the action complied with airport security laws.

"If you are travelling with a baby or infant you can carry a reasonable amount outside of your liquid bag for your journey. To assist security screening, please do not carry these items in a flask. If you are not travelling with a baby or infant all your liquids must comply with the 100ml rule. Spare supplies should be packed in hold baggage," the spokesperson said.

Twitter users shared heated responses to the incident.







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Officials at Heathrow Airport forced a mother to throw away nearly four gallons of breast milk during her security screening, sparking cries of anger and protest from mothers around the world.
heathrow, breast milk
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2016-53-26
Tuesday, 26 Apr 2016 09:53 AM
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