Any mom will tell you that the first time you have to be away from your baby is a BIG DEAL. Even if you’ve been aching for the freedom, your heart pretty much breaks in half when you hand your baby off to a caretaker, even someone you love and trust.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, you have the added stress of making sure you’ve left enough pumped milk for your baby — and if you have to be away for more than a few hours, you need to schlep your pump around with you, and hope that you’ll find a comfortable (and private) place to pump.
On Wednesday, actress and model Brooklyn Decker spent her first night away from Hank, her 7-month old sweetie. But as told in a series of live tweets, things didn’t go as planned. In fact, by the end of the evening, Decker had missed her flight, and was understandably livid.
Here’s how it all went down:
Decker was flying Delta, and there were some serious delays. After waiting on the tarmac for two hours, Decker started to get restless. And as any nursing mom will tell you, after a few hours of not pumping or nursing, you start to get a little … um, full. Relief is very necessary!
Here’s what happened next, according to Decker:
As Decker tweeted, she was told by Delta that passengers were free to leave the aircraft, and would be able to return. So I assume the airline knew she’d gone off to pump, which she says only took 15 minutes. And even if that wasn’t perfectly clear to everyone involved, why couldn’t they have just let her back on the flight?
Some might say she should have just stayed on the plane to pump. But first of all, pumping in an airplane bathroom is far from ideal (plus, ewwwww!). And I’m all for breastfeeding or pumping in public, but it’s understandable that a mom might feel uncomfortable whipping out a pump while sitting next to a stranger. However, none of that is the real issue here, because Decker was told she’d be able to get back on the plane in the first place.
Delta allegedly doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to supporting breastfeeding moms. Back in 2014, a Twitter exchange went viral after a customer service rep told a breastfeeding mother Delta didn’t allow women to openly breastfeed on flights. Then, in January of 2015, a separate incident made headlines, after a Delta employee allegedly told a mom she couldn’t bring her pump on flight. Delta later apologized, according to CNN, but this doesn’t leave me (or many moms) very confident about their breastfeeding or pumping policies — and this latest incident with Decker only underlines the fact that the airline needs to rethink its policies.
But I feel most angry for Decker herself. I really empathize with her. Leaving my babies for even a few hours to go to the grocery store or get my haircut was difficult when I was a new mom. And even short outings took a whole lot of planning. I had to time things just right in terms of my breastfeeding and pumping. And let’s just say I wasn’t exactly in love with my pump. (More accurately, I wanted to throw it across the room more than once.)
Decker was totally beside herself, but she seemed to have a healthy sense of humor about the whole thing. Afterwards, she tweeted the glass of wine she bought herself as she sat in the airport, waiting for her next flight:
And then tweeted this gem (while perhaps slightly-buzzed) to finish off her rant:
In all seriousness, though, I hope Delta issues her a BIG apology, and looks into educating all of its employees on the importance of supporting breastfeeding moms everywhere. And I hope Decker got where she was going quickly, had plenty of opportunities to pump, and that her reunion with her son was as sweet as she hoped it would be.