Separate the baby from your breast, ma’am

Here’s a funny story to jumpstart the week after a long weekend. Trevor saw this storyand sent it to me with a chuckle, remembering an incident that could have easily landed me in jail. Which incident, my smart-ass friends might ask? The one in which I was traveling with a nursing baby who wanted to eat just as it was time to go through security.

my little chica loved 2 things at this age: eating & new shoes

The baby in question was Macy, and we were traveling back & forth between Houston and Durham, NC, to house-hunt. Macy was born 4 months after the terrorist attackson September 11th, so airport security was an evolving mess. Can’t say that it’s improved all that much in the decade since.

this pretty kitty loved her chow

We had collapsed her stroller and sent it and all the baby paraphernalia through the x-ray scanner, and I was almost ready to walk through when she decided it was mealtime. Rather than subject everyone in the airport to a pissed-off, crying baby, I started to nurse her just before walking through the metal detector. The TSA agent barked at me to “separate the baby from my breast.” For real.

I told him in my firm-but-somewhat-respectful voice that she was currently eating. He said too bad, so sad, get that baby off the teat. It’s hard to say who was more unhappy at that moment: Macy for having her meal so rudely interrupted, or me at the TSA agent’s stupidity. I pried my baby girl from her gravy train and hoped that jackass agent would get a shot of breast milk right in the eye.

Life is hard for nursing moms. When Payton was an infant he was having a meal at the food court at First Colony Mall and an older woman approached me to tell me that was disgusting. I assumed she was talking about the Chicken McNuggets one of my companions was eating, in which case I would have wholeheartedly agreed. However, she was referring to me nursing my baby. She thought I should “take that into the restroom.” I looked at her in disbelief and asked her how she’d like to eat her lunch in the mall restroom. Not so much? Well, neither would he. Sheesh.

My nursing days are long gone, which is a good thing considering the current state of my breasts, but I’ll always remember the outrage I felt at the airport and at the mall. Just like an elephant, I never forget.

16 Comments on “Separate the baby from your breast, ma’am”

  1. David Benbow says:


  2. Eddie says:

    I’d be more shocked by the stupidity in the world if I didn’t see the seeds of it in my classroom all the time. So if you take the baby off the breast are you now guilty of indecent exposure? And what, exactly, is the threat of a nursing baby? Well, at least stupidity gives me job security and you blog fodder.

  3. People can be so thoughtless and/or just plain dense!

  4. Such insensitivity really galls me. Especially when it’s so acceptable to have boobs falling out everywhere from trailers to billboards across America as long as no baby’s attached. xxx

    • Jan, I never connected the aversion to breastfeeding with the plethora of images of breasts for salaciousness. Interesting. I’ll be pondering this awhile. As always, thanks for your comments. xo

  5. Trevor Hicks says:

    It wasn’t stupidity, the perv just wanted to see a boob.

  6. mmr says:

    Loved your story. Now that they have those new body scanners at the airport, I’d like to step out and see my implanted chest on the screen. I have flown once since I’ve had foobs, and I could tell that the person behing the scanner could see them. She looked very sad, and was very respectful. I had on fatigue clothes and the agents seemed to think I was in the army (and was going to DC; one of the agents said to “give them hell”). I had a chuckle wondering if they thought my chest had been blown off by a land mine or something.

  7. chemobrainfog says:

    I feel badly about what they did to Macy….. but you ALWAYS make me laugh. Too bad the agent didn’t get a shot of breast milk in his eye. Same for the lady at the food court.

    As for MMR…… TSA scanners????? A few of us blogged about our experiences with those scanners. You got “sad and respectful” and I got “felt up” by an agent who literally jumped out of nowhere!


  8. Nancy, This post speaks to how messed up our society is when it comes to how we look at breasts… Did you happen to catch my recent TSA post? At least I didn’t have this problem!! Thanks for sharing.

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