Breastfeeding mum ‘told to prove lactation’ at Frankfurt airport

We’re shocked that a mum was asked to prove that she was breastfeeding by airport security

Pregnancy news, 31/01/2017

Singaporean mum of two, Gayathiri Bose, has filed a complaint with German police following the way she was treated at Frankfurt airport last week.

She was on her way to board a plane to Paris when airport security became suspicious because she was carrying a breast pump but travelling without her baby.

Gayathiri  says that when the X-ray machine showed there was a breast pump in her hand luggage, she was taken aside for questioning. She says that the officers didn’t seem to believe her when she insisted the device was a breast pump, and they asked her:

‘You are breastfeeding? Then where is your baby?’

Gayathiri says that she was then led to a room by a female police officer where she was told to show her breast and to prove that she was lactating:

‘She wanted me to show her by hand-expressing a little.’

She says she did as the police officer asked because she was shocked and didn’t know what else to do: ‘I was just in shock, I was going through the motions.’

The police then allowed Gayathiri to go but she says that the experience left her feeling ‘humiliated’ and that she found it ‘very traumatising.’

A spokesperson for the German federal police unit has said that although he can’t comment on the incident for ‘reasons of data protection’, the way Gayathiri was treated ‘is not normal’ and that ‘There are  some people representing authority who do overstep the mark, but that to me sounds unprecedented and quite frankly very humiliating.’

We are shocked by Gayathiri’s experience and hope that lessons can be learnt from this so that it doesn't happen again. 

Find out more about breastfeeding in pregnancy here

Find out more about using a breast pump here.

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