Thursday, December 28, 2017

Breast pumps baffle airport staff

To most people, leaving baby at home for a solo trip abroad sounds like a dream. But is it easy to travel as a breastfeeding mum?

Women often use pumps to get milk from the breasts – if you don‘t breastfeed regularly, it can cause problems with milk supply and can even stop milk altogether. Also, not breastfeeding can lead to very engorged and painful breasts.

After reporting the story of mum who said she had to squeeze her breast in front of Frankfurt Airport security officials to prove that she was lactating, we asked women for their stories.

‘I stood in the disabled toilet to pump‘
Anisha Turner breastfeeds her one year old daughter Ayrianna but in December 2016 she travelled without her from London to India to scatter her mother‘s ashes.

“It is tricky to travel as breastfeeding mum so I went to India for just a couple of days and I brought my electric breast pump with me.

“I knew it would be very painful to travel on a long-haul flight without expressing milk – and if you do not pump it can lead to (breast tissue inflammation).

“I planned to express milk where I could and I was hoping to find a mum and baby room in Heathrow to plug in the pump.

“I could not find a room with a socket – I asked a security guard who was unhelpful but in the end I found an official who understood how uncomfortable it would be for me to fly without pumping.

“In the end I had to buy a universal socket in the airport and I stood in the disabled toilet to pump.

“Later when we transferred at Mumbai airport, there were mum and baby rooms and loads of facilities to accommodate me.

“I was so surprised – I thought that I would have problems in Mumbai but in fact it was Heathrow Airport that had no facilities at all.

“Breastfeeding mums are not really thought about – the difficulties that we encounter are not understood – and you would think that an airport could accommodate us.”
27/12/17 Jackson Observer