TSA Forces Mom to Pump Breast Milk Before Boarding Plane

TSA does not have a good track record when it comes to respecting passengers’ basic privacy. And although they have apologized, the latest story of TSA incompetence does nothing to improve their reputation.

Amy Strand, a mother of four and principal at a public school in Maui, Hawaii, was attempting to go through security with her breast pumping equipment when she was detained by a TSA agent. Strand had, 20 minutes earlier, dumped out her breast milk to avoid any hassle while going through security, so all she had in her bag were the empty bottles and an ice pack. The agent, however, inexplicably informed her that she would not be allowed to bring the ice pack through security unless the bottles were full (who knows how Beyonce would have been treated).

Strand explained to the agent that the ice pack was expensive and that she was not about to leave it behind. He informed her that she had a choice: abandon the pack or fill the bottles.

There was no private room for Strand to pump, so she went to a public bathroom, where the only outlet was near a sink. “I’m in a dress, in heels and I find myself in front of a sink and mirrors with travelers coming in and out of the bathroom,” Strand recounted. “I’m standing at the sink with my breast hanging out, pumping. I wanted to cry. I was humiliated.”

In a statement, TSA apologized for the “apparent misunderstanding,” but claimed that the agent did not force her to go pump breast milk before boarding the plane. TSA also added that the agent would receive remedial training, and that a memo will be sent to other airports so that mothers in similar situations do not face the same treatment. Clearly, though, this is a problem that needs to be handled with more than a memo. Nursing mothers’ needs to be included in any training that TSA agents receive about passengers’ health, so that more moms aren’t bullied by “misinformed” agents. Perhaps more importantly, though, agents should be informed that empty bottles are not more explosive than those filled with breast milk.

Related Stories:

Beyonce Makes Headlines for Nursing Her Daughter in Public

TSA Confiscates Cupcake Because of Frosting

Breastfeeding Lawyer-Mom Bullied By TSA Agents


Susan O.
Susan O5 years ago

To Pam W. who asks: "Are female terrorists using breast milk BOMBS? Does ANYONE at TSA have a lick of sense?"

The short answer is "no".

The LONG answer is:


pam w.
pam w5 years ago

Are female terrorists using breast milk BOMBS? Does ANYONE at TSA have a lick of sense?

Loo Samantha
Loo sam5 years ago


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

Oh, for pete's sake!!
How can an empty breast pump and cooler pack be a threat to national security and 20 minutes later, with milk, they don't pose a threat to security?
That dude was "out to lunch" in the brain department.

Jennifer P.
Jennifer P5 years ago

Between breast milk and insulin pumps, it seems that the TSA can stand a whole bunch of sensitivity training.

Jane R.
Jane R5 years ago

TSA is a joke. They confiscate so many things that are harmless. I bet the have a field-day dividing the loot up!

Jeff L.
Jeff L5 years ago

No one should have that much cotroll over your body functions to be able tell you when to pump your milk. It seems as if their brains have had their brains pumped.

Susan H.
Susan H5 years ago

This is sickening.

Netty van Driest
Netty v5 years ago

Totally insane. Security has gone over the edge in US airports.

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago

What!? Crazy.