A nursing mom has gone viral after sharing her harrowing story of being harassed by TSA agents for trying to bring through security the ice packs she used to keep her baby's bottles cold.
Emily Calandrelli's story has drawn particularly wide interest given the U.S.'s extremely dire national shortage of infant formula owning to the supply-chain crisis and a contamination outbreak at one of the country's largest manufacturing facilities.
Her story has also sparked many other mothers to share their own experiences with traveling white breastfeeding, underlying how widespread a problem this seems to be.
Calandrelli shared her story on Good Morning America and in a Twitter thread, seen below.
Calandrelli, who is host of Netflix's Emily's Wonder Lab, has a 10-month old son, for whom she was hoping to pump milk before her five hour flight from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.
But when she attempted to go through security with the ice packs she would need for the trip, but two male agents forbid her from doing so because one of the packs was not frozen solid, which TSA requires.
Calandrelli had not yet frozen the second pack because she did not need it until her trip home.
Calandrelli says the agents repeatedly told her that she should have brought her milk with her, and questioned her about the whereabouts of her baby, assuming the baby not being with her meant she didn't need to pump her milk.
That assumption is incorrect—women must continue to regularly pump milk in order to keep it from drying up, as well as to avoid infections like mastitis that affect lactating women's breasts.
And it turned out that wasn't the only thing the TSA agents were wrong about.
TSA rules about ice packs state they do not need to be frozen if they are medically necessary, which they are in Calandrelli's case.
Calandrelli described the experience as a humiliating invasion of her privacy.
She said her DMs were flooded by other mothers who'd had similar experiences.
People on Twitter shared Calandrelli's outrage, and plenty of parents had stories of their own as well.
TSA told Good Morning America it is reviewing the incident and will implement further training for agents if it deems it necessary based on the inquiry's findings.