Challenges turned to something more....
Mesa, Arizona mom Sarah Salow has made national headlines for having to throw away 40 oz of pure liquid gold (breastmilk) and cooler! She was told she would have to pay an outrageous fee to check the cooler. Which come to find out was a bogus fee! Could you imagine having to throw away 40 oz of breastmilk. It's hard for me to dump 1 oz of breastmilk if accidentally kept out for too long! I know plenty of moms would say the same. Especially, As a first time breastfeeding mom, myself, who has had issues with low milk supply, I know just how much hard work goes into pumping and how important every single oz is.
I knew when I originally heard the story, that I had to talk to Sarah myself. I knew that her story was and would be so important to our readers and breastfeeding moms across the globe! So we talked to the Arizona breastfeeding mom and had a candid interview with Mrs. Sarah Salow that touched my heart and I know will do the same for breastfeeding moms!
Our interview with breastfeeding mom Sarah Salow originally took place in early 2018 or so and to this day w e still talk. I hope her story resonates with you as it did me.
I've also left a few links below that are the better suited to the traveling with breastmilk guidelines.
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A breastfeeding mom who has to throw her breastmilk away because American Airlines wouldn’t let her take it on the plane.
Our interview with breastfeeding mom Sarah Salow! A breastfeeding mom who has to throw her breastmilk away because American Airlines wouldn’t let her take it on the plane.
THE Serving ALL Moms INTERVIEW turns into to more
*trigger child loss
Can you tell me a little about your breastfeeding journey?
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, Lucas, I was ecstatic, as any mom is. We had lost our first pregnancy and were very excited to be expecting again. My mom is an IBCLC and I knew I would be breastfeeding my child. My two sisters and one sister-in-law have all successfully nursed, collectively, 9 children. I didn’t think I would be any different. My son’s birth was far from easy and we immediately had issues with getting him to latch. I had several nurses in the hospital try to help us, as well as my mom but I had to start pumping the first night with him because he wasn’t latching well enough to establish my supply or to give him enough nutrients. Within his first week of life, I had cracked, bleeding nipples and had already developed thrush and was in too much pain to continue trying to get him to latch. I cup fed my pumped milk as well as donor milk from a dear friend of mine because I wasn’t able to keep up with Lucas. It took two months, several doctors’ appointments, multiple prescriptions and ultimately, essential oils to cure the thrush and by then I was headed back to work. At that point we had introduced a bottle but I still attempted to latch Lucas every day. The only time I was truly successful in nursing him was in the bathtub. I found myself obsessed with sticking to a pumping schedule and was only able to attempt a nursing session once a day.
A MOM LOSING HOPE
By our third month, my hopes of nursing started to dwindle but I still tried. Come month four I had basically given up hope and accepted that exclusively pumping would be our journey. I was blessed with an oversupply and had filled two deep freezers with extra milk. Lucas was always given fresh. I had planned to wean at 6 months because I had enough milk to get us to the one year goal. When 6 months approached I felt an immense guilt in quitting before a year and decided to start donating milk. I ended up donating 3,000+oz, I stopped counting after a while and in the meantime still produced plenty to feed Lucas fresh milk and continue freezing milk. I battled mastitis three times in our first year, twice without medication because I didn’t know that is what I was dealing with. When Lucas was 9 months old I read another mom’s story and how her child had been diagnosed late for a tongue tie and lip tie. I immediately knew I needed to get Lucas examined although my mom and his pediatrician didn’t think anything was wrong. I met with a local Pediatrician’s office who specializes in ties and it was confirmed in our consultation visit with the nurse practitioner that he did in fact have a class 4 lip tie and posterior tongue tie. I was angry and felt the devastation of not being able to nurse all over again. I booked the appointment to have the ties revised and waited. When we went back for the revision we met with the doctor who actually listened to our story. He examined Lucas again but ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth putting him through the pain of the procedure because he was eating well enough and babbling/talking well enough for his age. I did meet with an ENT after the appointment just to get a second opinion. I didn’t want Lucas having issues in the future with speech and eating if we could correct the issue while he was young enough to not remember the procedure. The ENT also decided it wasn’t necessary and we ultimately did not go through with the procedure.
PUMPING IS BREASTFEEDING
A few weeks before Lucas’ first birthday I finally started to wean from the pump. We started using a mix of fresh milk and frozen milk because he was used to fresh and picky when it came to the frozen milk. I didn’t want to have any issues with him drinking the frozen milk in the long run. Lucas is now almost 14 months and still drinking breast milk every day. I always imagined I would nurse my baby until he weaned himself and since I do have milk in the freezer, I thought it would be best to keep him on it as long as we have it. The milk should last us until close to his second birthday. Although our first year was far more trying than I ever could have possibly imagined, I am so proud to have exclusively breastfed my child, even if it is pumped milk, and to have been a donor mom. Pumping IS breastfeeding
Continued interview about the airlines
I am beyond appalled and saddened by how myself and my family were treated today before boarding our flight home and feel it’s necessary to share our story. My husband, 13mo old son and I were set to depart Boston at 930am EST on flight 2548 to Phoenix. We traveled with our son’s stroller, his diaper bag, my husbands backpack and a small 12x12x12 soft cooler with our son’s breastmilk. I did not have a personal item. We approached the gate counter about a half hour before our flight and got a gate check ticket for our stroller. We were boarding with the last group and heard over the load speaker repeatedly that our flight was full and that they were taking volunteers to complimentary gate check their bag if they had a carry on. When we approached the counter to have our tickets scanned, the women at the counter told us we had too many bags and we would have to check one. I explained that our diaper bag and backpack were personal items and the cooler contained our son’s breast milk and that it was necessary to keep it with us. They told us it was not necessary. They then told us we would have to pay to have the cooler checked so we stepped off to the side to process the transaction as other passengers scanned their tickets and boarded the flight. One of the women told us it would cost $150 to gate check our cooler when they were doing so as a courtesy just moments ago to other passengers. We were shocked. They told us we could condense our bags but unfortunately, the frozen breast milk needed to stay frozen and we didn’t have extra space in our other bags. Other passengers behind us that didn’t have any personal baggage offered to carry the cooler on for us but the women at the counter wouldn’t allow it. Because we are a young, growing family it wasn’t economical for us to spend $150 to check the cooler and we were forced to leave it behind. As we boarded the plane, myself in tears, the women continued to berate us that ‘we were welcome for them saving us $150’ and that ‘we created this situation for ourselves’. One of the gentlemen moving the gate check bags below offered to get the bag for us but was again denied by the same supervisor woman. A flight attendant on board also offered and was turned down. Once we got to our seats we not only found that our flight was in fact NOT full, but there was overhead storage available directly above our very own seats. We have traveled as a family several times before and have never run into this issue. We have only been treated with empathy and courtesy because everyone knows that traveling with an infant can be challenging. I actually called AA before our trip to Boston to discuss checking our cooler since we needed to travel with enough milk for the week. Our son has a severe dairy allergy and my breast milk is specific and necessary for his wellbeing. The gentleman I spoke with that day was so warm and encouraging. He actually suggested that i carry the milk with us to ensure it’s safety. I’ve heard of these horror stories from other moms and have always sworn I would never find myself in the situation to have to leave my milk behind and today it happened to me and I am a absolutely devastated. Not only for my son but for how myself and my family were treated. I promise to share our story with everyone I can so that my friends and family can protect themselves by flying with another airline as to not experience the absurdity we did.