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Mother says she was told to squeeze her breast at airport to prove she’s lactating

By WITW Staff on January 31, 2017

When Gayathiri Bose arrived at Frankfurt Airport with a breast pump tucked in her carry-on bag, she did not expect that she would be required to prove that she was lactating. The 33-year-old Singaporean mother of two was stopped by German police, who were suspicious because she was traveling without a baby. Although security checks are an important part of air travel, what followed was a rather strange incident that left Bose “humiliated.”

After they questioned Bose in what she described as “an incredulous tone,” a female officer reportedly directed her into a room. “She asked me to open up my blouse and show her my breast,” said Bose. The officer asked why nothing was on Bose’s breast if she really was lactating, and Bose explained that nothing needs to be permanently attached to her chest in order for the pump to work. The officer was still suspicious. “She wanted me to show her by hand-expressing a little,” said Bose.

In shock and alone, Bose complied. “It was only when I came out of the room that I began to slowly understand what had just happened. I just started to cry, I was terribly upset.”

After the 45-minute ordeal, Bose was allowed to board her flight. “I told them that this is not the way to treat someone … You made me show my breast.” She said the female officer showed no remorse, and Bose is now looking into taking formal legal action.

“This is not normal,” said aviation expert Ellis Taylor, citing other ways to check that the pump is safe. “To demonstrate the passenger has a need for this device is bizarre.”

Read the full story at BBC.


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