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Airport Security Forced Mom to Prove She Was Lactating

Mom's Claim of Being Forced to Prove Lactation to Airport Security Will Infuriate You

Gayathiri Bose was flying without her 7-month-old baby when she was humiliated by airport security over her breast pump.

The incident occurred at Frankfurt Airport in Germany before her flight to Paris. According to the mom of two, she packed her pump in a carry-on bag, but it was taken into questioning after going through the X-ray machine. The mom from Singapore told BBC that security members didn't believe her when she explained that the device was a breast pump. "[They had] an incredulous tone. 'You are breastfeeding? Then where is your baby? Your baby is in Singapore?'" she said.

After she insisted that she is in fact a nursing mom, Bose said that the officers kept her passport and a female police officer led her to a room for further questioning. "She asked me to open up my blouse and show her my breast. She then asked how come I didn't have anything attached to my breast, if I was lactating and expressing breast milk," Bose said. "And I said, 'There is no such thing that is [permanently] attached, we usually place the pump to our nipple and the machine does the job.'"

The officer still wasn't convinced that Bose was a nursing mom and asked her to prove it "by hand-expressing a little." Despite being humiliated, Bose did as she was instructed. "I was just in shock, I was going through the motions. I was all by myself as well, and wasn't sure what would happen to me if they decided to make trouble for me," she said.

Officials then tested and cleared the pump before allowing Bose to catch her flight. She said the "very traumatizing" ordeal lasted for roughly 45 minutes and that she's considering taking legal action. "The officer just said, 'Okay it is over now, please go'. She was totally nonchalant, she didn't seem very remorseful or empathetic," Bose said. "While I do respect the need to do security checks on items that may seem suspicious, to outrage a person's modesty is definitely crossing the line."

A spokesman for Frankfurt Airport's police confirmed that Bose was stopped and her breast pump was screened as a possible explosive device but deny the rest of her claims. "The federal police has been aware of the allegation since Friday. The investigation revealed that a necessary follow-up was carried out by the policewoman, who is a mother of two children herself," the statement said. "We deny the allegation that the passenger was asked to prove her ability to breastfeed."

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