I really debated about posting this but felt like it was important to share to spread the word about...Posted by Kate Aulette on Monday, April 8, 2019
Kate Aulette, a working mom who regularly pumps for her 7-month-old child, recently shared an unpleasant experience she had while attending an Ariana Grande concert. In a Facebook post, she explained how she was barred from entering the performance at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit, MI, on April 6 because she had her breast pump with her.
"Ariana Grande announced her tour would only be allowing clear plastic bags in order to keep it safer and more efficient for everyone," she wrote. "I'm not against this by any means, I understand she was attacked and her clear plastic bag rule makes sense. BUT....as a breastfeeding mom, I immediately thought, how am I going to fit my breast pump (I had to be able to pump since I was not bringing my baby with me to the concert) in a clear plastic bag and was this even an allowable device."
Although Kate completely understands the strict security measures after what transpired during the Manchester bombing in 2017, she made a point to call ahead to ensure her pump would be permitted. But as soon as she got to the entrance, she was told that she wouldn't be allowed in with her pump. "I explain that my bag is a breast pump and I start emptying it out for them to search, the security guard say nope you can't come in with that," she wrote. "I explained that I called ahead and was told this an an approved medical item and would not have any issues, they search everything, all my parts, and then proceed to tell me no it's not a medical device and refuse to let me in."
After asking to speak to a manager, Kate got the same response. "An older gentleman comes and I explain the whole thing again, and his response to me was that I was not allowed to bring this device in unless I had my baby with me," she said. "Are you kidding me? The whole reason I have to bring my pump is because I don't have my baby. After going around and explaining that it's important for me to be able to express milk when I am not with my baby he still was not having it and refused to let me in with my pump. Again, I asked for his supervisor and the supervisor would not allow me in with my pump. I was livid."
After being told she could check her pump at guest services at another venue, she walked back to her bus her party came on and pumped before returning to the concert. Although Kate was able to see the singer perform and received a formal apology from the venue, she wants to advocate for breastfeeding moms everywhere.
"I am so sad that there are uneducated people in this world who do not understand the uses of a breast pump," she said. "I hope no one ever gets treated or turned away like I did for wanted to ensure my baby has milk. I was trying to have a fun night with my husband and friends — which as a parent happens not often — only to have to endure someone telling me that I can't bring my pump because I don't have my baby with me."