I can’t believe this kind of thing is still happening. Here is yet another incident of a mother being shamed for discreetly breastfeeding her child in public.
What is wrong with you, America?! Get. It. Together.
The latest incident allegedly happened aboard a 5-hour flight on American Airlines last month. The woman was reportedly so upset about the way she was treated she wrote a letter to customer service. and received a letter in response. Here is a portion of her letter to the airline, outlining what happened.
“On July 21, 2013 my husband and I were travelling home with our 5 month-old son on an American Airlines flight. After lift-off, I allowed our son to begin nursing as it helps his ears not hurt and prevents him from crying for the rest of the flight. I was sitting in the window seat, my husband was sitting in the center seat, and our son’s head was toward the window so no one could really see what was going on. There was a girl about ten or twelve years old sitting in the aisle seat next to my husband. She had her headphones on and was chatting with her friends in surrounding seats – my son’s eating did not seem to be bothering her.
A few minutes after my son started nursing, a stewardess walked by our row, shook her head at me, and shot me a very displeased look. I told my husband, and we both agreed that she probably wouldn’t go any further, since I was being discreet and no one else seemed bothered. A few minutes later, the same stewardess returned to our row, leaned over the girl in the aisle seat, and told me (after a bit of hesitation as she couldn’t find her words) that I needed to put a blanket over my son “because there are kids on this flight.” My husband promptly responded that there was no problem with what I was doing and that we preferred to not use a blanket. The stewardess left our row and walked to the back of the plane. A few minutes later, she returned again and told the young lady in the aisle seat, “I’m going to move you back here because you’re probably really uncomfortable.” By that time, our my son was asleep and the girl had yet to take notice in my nursing of him.
For the rest of the flight, that stewardess never offered us drinks and avoided looking at us, but my son happily nursed and slept. We had passengers all around us saying how thankful they were that our son was sleeping, commenting ‘He’s the best baby on the plane!’
The woman, who is choosing to remain anonymous, filed a complaint on the American Airlines website describing how the flight attendant basically harassed her during the flight. She received the following letter in response. A clarification/justification of the employee’s behavior.
I don’t know how much more discreet you can be by sitting in a window seat with your husband in the aisle seat. Nonetheless, there are laws protecting women who breastfeed in public so whether or not anyone on the flight liked it is too bad.
Who cares if children see women breastfeed? It’s perfectly natural. Shielding a child from a breastfeeding woman is you sexualizing the breast for the child instead of explaining it and moving on. You’re making it a big deal and it doesn’t need to be that way. Do you need to glory in the beauty of breastfeeding? No. But you can explain that the mommy is feeding her baby in the same way as damn near every other animal on the planet and I think you’ll find that kids don’t give a crap after they learn what’s going down.
If you feel like spreading the word in an attempt to let American Airlines know how you feel go ahead and share the Facebook link. It’s already been shared more than 2,000 times.
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