Excited to see Ariana Grande perform in Detroit on the night of April 6, Kate Aulette made sure she was prepared with both her tickets and her breast pump since she would be away from her seven-month-old daughter for over eight hours. But what she wasn’t prepared for was being turned away at the venue because of her breastfeeding device.
It all started when Aulette found out that Ariana Grande’s tour was only allowing clear plastic bags inside (a safety precaution following the tragic 2017 Manchester bombing). “I immediately thought, how am I going to fit my breast pump (I had to be able to pump since I was not bringing my baby with me to the concert) in a clear plastic bag and was this even an allowable device,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
To be safe, Aulette called the arena’s Guest Services and was told that, while her device would be searched, it was allowed.
But when she showed up that Friday night, she was stopped by security: “They search everything, all my parts etc and then proceed to tell me no it’s not a medical device and refuse to let me in,” she said. Even after explaining that she had talked to the venue beforehand and even after speaking to a manager, Aulette was told “I was not allowed to bring this device in unless I had my baby with me.”
Fortunately, the bus which had brought her and her friends to the concert was parked nearby so Aulette was able to go back and pump before returning to the show.
Now Aulette is advocating for other breastfeeding moms. She concluded her post saying, “I am so sad that there are uneducated people in this world who do not understand the uses of a breast pump. I hope no one ever gets treated or turned away like I did for wanted to ensure my baby has milk.”
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