‘Why is that not a crime?’ Keke Palmer shocked by airport’s threat to throw out her breast milk 

"Big Boss Keke" Palmer recounts a recent traveling experience where TSA agents at a Houston airport allegedly threatened to throw out her breast milk.

Since the birth of her first son, Leodis “Leo” Andrellton, Keke Palmer has been reveling in her new role as Mommy.

Keke Palmer breast milk, Keke Palmer son, Keke Palmer mother, Keke Palmer motherhood
Keke Palmer speaks onstage at Reel To Reel: Big Boss Featuring Keke Palmer in Conversation at The GRAMMY Museum on May 10, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

However, during a recent trip, the star shared on Twitter how “Breast milk discrimination at the Houston airport ruined [her] mood.” 

“I should’ve popped my t*t out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16oz [of] my [baby’s] food?!?!!! Why is that not a crime??,” Palmer continued. “I’M A MOTHER, for crying out loud 😩😢” 

According to the TSA, “breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag,” as they qualify as “medically necessary liquids.” The travel organization advises parents to disclose that they are traveling with these items and remove them so they can be screened separately. 

Despite these guidelines, the website states that “the final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.” Unfortunately, many new mothers have had experiences similar to Palmer’s when traveling with breast milk. 

“I’ve had this issue in soo many airports. TSA really needs to get it together,” one user tweeted in response to Palmer’s tweet. 

“Same thing happened to me in the Little Rock airport. I felt so violated and embarrassed, 😞” said another user. 

Ultimately, one user with experience in the industry shared: “I used to work for a major airline, and I’m a mom of 3; it’s VERY ILLEGAL for them to handle or throw out breastmilk (including ice packs to keep it preserved). Baby food and formula may exceed standard ounce restrictions. TSA and the airlines know better.😒” 

Unfortunately, debates and discrimination over breastfeeding are not new. Research has found that most Black mothers don’t feel supported or empowered in nursing their babies. Despite these challenges, the “Nope” star maintains motherhood has been her most significant role yet. 

“​​I have juggled quite a few careers, but this is my greatest gig of all,” Palmer shared on Instagram weeks after giving birth. “Learning how to balance it all and looking forward to discovering this new person I am becoming. I will never be the same again, but if you thought I was a bad mama jamma before, you can’t imagine the greater purpose my son has given my life!”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black‘ with Maiysha Kai.