A mother, who took a trip to see Ariana Grande perform at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit last weekend, was told she could not enter the venue with her breast pump.
Since Grande’s concert in Manchester in 2017 ended with a bombing, the pop star has asked concertgoers to bring clear bags to her Sweetener World Tour for safety reasons. Ahead of the show, Kate Aulette, 31, called the arena and asked if it was okay to bring her breast pump into the facility in a tote bag, to which they responded “absolutely, it’s a medical device” and assured her security would check the bag.
However, when she tried to enter the venue, she was met by four male security staffers who told her she couldn’t bring the breast pump inside. She asked to speak to a manager, who seemed confused as to why she needed to bring her pump inside.
“(He) said if I was going to bring in this type of device, that I would need to have my baby,” she said. “That was a little confusing, because the whole reason I needed the device is because I didn’t have a baby (with me).”
Aulette explained in a Facebook post that she is a working mom who pumps milk for her seven-month old daughter and breastfeeds when she is with her. In order to ensure she had milk ready for her daughter when she arrived back from the concert, Aulette needed to bring the pump with her. However, the security guards and manager told her that she needed to check her pump into Guest Services at another venue, Commercia Park, and if she left LCA during the show to pump milk to she would not be admitted back in.
She ultimately decided to head back to the bus she arrived in and pumped before trying to enter the arena again.
“I want to advocate for ALL the pumping/breastfeeding moms,” Aulette wrote in the post. “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 (wanting) to ensure my baby has milk.”
After the Facebook post garnered some attention, the arena contacted her and apologized for the incident. Little Caesars Arena also released the following statement:
“Little Caesars Arena has a policy that allows guests to bring breast pumps and other medical equipment into the venue. This policy has been reinforced with the guest service staff to avoid any future misinterpretations.”
Aulette told the Detroit Free Press that she’s not upset with the venue, but rather wants to advocate for all pumping/breastfeeding moms.
“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 (wanting) to ensure my baby has milk.”