Mum’s breast milk tests positive for explosives

lead image

A breastfeeding mum's horrible experience with airport security...

Every breastfeeding mum knows the trouble that they would have to go through when it comes to breast milk and flying.

So things were no different for Mum Heather Jones who was flying solo with her three-month-old baby Amelia for the first time.

After researching, she decided to bring two bottles of milk for her flight from Denver, Colorado to Los Angeles. One was a bottle of freshly-pumped breast milk and the other was a bottle of frozen breast milk. These were so she could feed Amelia if she started to have a meltdown in the plane.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/06/breast milk and flying 5.jpg Mum’s breast milk tests positive for explosives

Picture courtesy of Heather Andi Jones

Transportation Security Administration Check

“Amelia can be a bit picky about breastfeeding, so I figured I’d have both options for the flight,” Heather wrote in her post. “Getting through security turned out to take much longer than expected, with a heart attack shutting down one lane and wedged car seat shutting down another. Amelia was definitely getting hungry and fussy.”

When she finally thought she was done with the security check, TSA directed her to another section to inspect something else in her bag.

She remembered her research on breast milk and flying that liquid breastmilk and formula is allowed “in reasonable quantities” so she wasn’t worried. “I figured it was the frozen breast milk. That cleared right away, but they were having problems with my 4 oz bottle of fresh milk,” Heather wrote. 

By this point Amelia was hungry and the poor mum asked if she could just stand there and feed her the bottle of fresh breast milk. Instead of saying yes, security put the milk in the machine and it somehow got tested positive for explosives.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/06/breast milk and flying 2a.jpg Mum’s breast milk tests positive for explosives

Picture courtesy of Heather Andi Jones

Breast Milk and Flying: The Ordeal Continues

Heather was surrounded by six TSA agents until a female agent could perform a very detailed pat-down with Amelia crying in the stroller.

“Finally they came back with a negative result. I was forced to dump the bottle of breast milk. I grabbed my stuff and walked over to the nearest place to sit with Amelia screaming the whole time. Finally able to feed her, we sat and I calmed down some. Then a TSA agent came up to me and asked if he could find me a cover while I breastfed.”

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/06/breast milk and flying 4.jpg Mum’s breast milk tests positive for explosives

‘No Thanks’

Fed up with all the breast milk and flying drama she wasn’t going to deal with any more nonsense. Heather insisted that Amelia did not like having her head covered while feeding. The TSA agent tried to argue but gave up in the end. 

We’re happy to hear they managed to catch their flight in the end with no added drama!

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/06/breast milk and flying 1.jpg Mum’s breast milk tests positive for explosives

Picture courtesy of Heather Andi Jones

How Did Breast Milk Test Positive for Explosives?

While the answer remains unclear how this happened, there were suggestions that products with glycerin can create false positives.

Glycerin is commonly found in a lot of products like baby wipes, hand lotions, and various cosmetics. Perhaps Heather had touched the bottle after wiping her hands thus leaving traces of glycerin to set off the alarms?

Breast Milk and Flying: Rules in Singapore

Can I bring breast milk onboard the aircraft?

If your baby is travelling with you, you are allowed to bring expressed breast milk on the aircraft.

What if my baby is not travelling with me?

Yes, you can, provided all expressed breast milk is kept in containers not exceeding 100ml. The containers must also fit comfortably in a one-litre resealable plastic bag. Do note that they will still be subjected to additional checks at the Pre-Board Security Screening Area. Note also that failing to adhere to these rules may result in your breast milk being discarded.

Always remember to do your research if you are carrying breast milk and flying. Different airports may have different policies and it would be good to be prepared to avoid dramas like these.

Have you faced similar situations or setbacks when bringing breast milk and flying? Share your experience with us in the comment box below so that we can pick up tips and pointers.

Sources: Pop Sugar, Healthy Way,Denver Post, Changi Airport

Read also: 7 ways of pumping and storing that cause breastmilk contamination