May 18, 2023
I finally feel I can share this experience without being upset or worried about what people may say. This happened almost a year ago when I had to travel without Levi during the height of the formula shortage. I was pumping to keep my supply up while Jordan bottle fed Levi what breastmilk we had saved in the freezer and what formula we could find at the store (which wasn't alot).
By the time I got back to Levi and Jordan, they were down to 3 servings of formula.
Around 100 ounces had to be thrown out when I arrived at my destination. It all thawed. In hindsight... I wish I had donated the breastmilk in Winnipeg instead of trying to bring it to Levi.
**I have received so much hate and negativity as a result of sharing this video and my experience. As I update this, the video has 10.6 million views on Instagram and 1.4 million views on TikTok.
Some very terrible things have been said.
People commented on mental health, saying I have “mental health issues” for filming myself crying. Of course, I was a postpartum Mom going through a lot of crap. I’m not ashamed of that. Hormonal changes after birthing a child are no joke!!!
Breastfeeding is hard. Pumping is hard. Feeding your baby is hard.
I shared this video to start a conversation and spread awareness about postpartum issues and travelling with breastmilk. But it seemed to start the wrong conversation.
Reach out to all your friends, parents or not. You never know who’s struggling silently. Look what happens when you show you are struggling?
You get eaten alive on the internet.
I want to mention all the support, I have had SO many people reach out showing love and support. I have made new Mom friends as a result of this experience and that is so powerful!
People seemed to be most upset about the tinfoil. I strategically pre froze the breastmilk stacked tightly together. The thought is that one large block of ice melts slower than many smaller ice cubes. Then the package was wrapped in tinfoil to keep the cold in. Next it was placed in a paper bag to also help insulate. Finally it was placed in a frozen cooler bag!
Some things to note:
*I disclosed I had a breast pump, frozen breast milk and cat litter before everything went through the xrays
*I did NOT interfere with the process or reveal any sensitive information by videoing a few seconds of my experience
*I am not blaming any one person. I tried to blur faces and name tags but couldn’t effectively do that without things looking doctored. So this is the raw unedited footage
*I LOVE Winnipeg and our Winnipeg airport. However, every time I fly international and go through security at that particular airport I have issues. Whether it be with musical instruments, a cat, a baby, baby formula and now breast milk.
I’ve travelled with frozen breast milk through other airports, without issues! They scan it. Bang it on the table to see it’s frozen solid. Test my hands. Search my bag. Send me on my way. No one has compromised the breast milk before.
Now onto the cat story....
This trip, I had my cat Winnie with me as we were moving from Canada to the US so I had to get her from one country to the other. CATSA made me dump all her litter out even though it was under the legal limit which I heavily researched prior to travelling. I travel with Winnie often and have never had an issue in the past. This left Winnie with no where to pee during our long trip. They eye balled the litter and said I was “slightly over the limit”
On this same trip, the agents were poking their fingers through the holes in her carrier. Which everyone knows you shouldn’t do to an animal
Everyone in line was very upset watching CATSA treat me and my cat this way.
A different trip with Winnie through this same airport, they dropped her. We have travel with Winnie several times! They always take her away from me while I go through the metal detector, which I am always prepared for. A CATSA agent placed her on top of a high table (instead of on the floor). The carrier fell. She landed on her head.
I have heard so many stories of people and animals being mistreated by CATSA. I am hoping by sharing my experience, it might prevent other Moms from going through this. Or other pet owners!!