Why Every Nursing Mom Should Rally Around Alyssa Milano
Of all the aggravations I went through as a nursing mom, pumping was easily the worst. I hated it. It wasn't so much that I felt like a cow being milked (I did). What I really couldn't stand was hooking up all the tubes, placing my boob just so in the suction cup thingy, and praying I wouldn't hear the inevitable hiss of a loose connection. Oh yeah, and trying to think happy baby thoughts the whole time so my milk would come down. But perhaps most defeating of all for me was seeing the measly ounces I managed to eke out after all of the hullabaloo.
So when I read about Alyssa Milano's recent scuffle over her breast milk at London's Heathrow Airport, I was especially riled up. The actress, mom of two and #brelfie rabblerouser was trying to pass through security with the impressive 10 ounces of milk she pumped on the plane. (FYI, she doesn't recommend it.) But because her baby wasn't with her at the airport -- and because the stash was larger than the allowed 5 ounces -- airport officials confiscated the milk. After watching her 10 ounces of hard work go (probably) down the drain, Milano did what any of us would do: She vented.
After tweeting that it was "not okay" for Heathrow's security to take her breast milk -- and leave her shampoo and other toiletries intact -- she railed against the airport. She asked some obvious questions ("They said they would let the pumped milk through if I had the baby with me. Why would I need to pump if I had the baby with me????") and even offered up a solution ("@HeathrowAirport 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 were simply tested and handed back with no issue. Makes no sense at all.").
But despite the high-profile complaints, the airport stood behind the decision. "Hi Alyssa. Unfortunately, without a baby present, the government requires all liquids in carry-ons to follow the 100ml rule," was its official tweeted response.
While I'm all for following the rules, I'm siding with Milano on this one. Making and collecting 10 ounces of milk takes a lot of work, and to flush it down the drain without even offering to inspect it or let the mom break it up into pre-approved bottles isn't just bad policy, it's also incredibly wasteful.
Now it's your turn: Do you think Alyssa Milano had a good reason to gripe here?
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.