Normalizing breastfeeding flying the friendly skies- Delta says no

by Jessica Martin-Weber

*UPDATE as of 2.05pm 02.21.14  at the end of this post.*

I speak often about normalizing breastfeeding and what that would mean.  Sometimes this seems like a ridiculous topic, like normalizing breathing, eating, walking, or human decency.  Or like normalizing mammalian behaviors.  It just seems so… obvious.  Why in the world would you have to normalize something so… normal?

But the reality is that in many ways, though it is touted, preached, and at times elevated, in many ways breastfeeding isn’t normal.  Like it or not, I see a very real need for our culture to embrace breastfeeding as normal.  The reasons are many and I won’t go into them here right now but if breastfeeding was normal I know this twitter exchange would not have happened.

 

Delta airlines doesn't want moms to feed their babies without a cover.

Delta airlines doesn’t want moms to feed their babies without a cover.

Um, yikes.  Also, that pumping suggestion?  Completely unrealistic.  If she has to feed her baby every two hours, she’s going to have to empty her breast every two hours.  Which means she would need to pump 3 times on that flight AND give a bottle.  Wouldn’t it just be easier and less distracting if she wasn’t trying to juggle a bottle, a pump, and a baby in her handful of square inches on the plane?  Wouldn’t it be much less intrusive for everyone if she simply put her baby on her breast?

This is why breastfeeding needs to be normalized, as silly as that may sound.  It is also why discrimination against mothers, regardless of how they feed their children, needs to stop.  This isn’t even the first time that Delta has run into issues violating laws protecting breastfeeding, way back in 2006 the airline kicked a mother that refused to cover to feed her daughter off her flight.  She sued and they paid.  But apparently, they haven’t learned.  The Georgia based airline seems to be unaware of the law protecting breastfeeding not only in their home state, but the majority of the country as well:

Georgia Code – Health – Title 31, Section 31-1-9

The breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.

I’ve only flown Delta once with my nursling and thankfully had no issues but I was anxious the whole time knowing the airline’s irresponsible, anti-family past.  Since then, I intentionally only fly airlines that are clearly supportive of breastfeeding such as Southwest Airlines and not only have I had no problems, I’ve been encouraged with friendly smiles, extra water and snacks, and supportive conversations.

What has been your experience with breastfeeding and flying?  What airlines have you traveled with that were supportive of you feeding your baby as you saw fit?

*Edited to add*

I have seen numerous comments on Facebook and twitter asking why the mother asked, that she shouldn’t have asked. While I agree that she shouldn’t HAVE to ask, certainly we can all understand why she did.

This mother did nothing wrong by asking for clarification on the airline’s breastfeeding policy.  Going in prepared when traveling with an infant is perfectly reasonable and unfortunately, with the number of breastfeeding discrimination incidents in this country, a mother would have good reason to be concerned.  Please stop acting like she was wrong to ask. Our culture CLEARLY has issues when it comes to breastfeeding, she did nothing wrong in trying to be prepared. Asking was well within her right and understandable given the number of times mothers are harassed for feeding their babies. This very airline has even gone so far as to kick a woman OFF one of their flights for feeding her child. Stop with the victim blaming please. 

I understand asking, unfortunately there have been enough bad experiences to make moms want to be prepared. This same airline was sued a few years ago for kicking a breastfeeding mom off a flight for not covering.

*UPDATE* The @Delta account on Twitter responded to the storm of tweets questioning the breastfeeding policy @DeltaAssist told @Classichippie.

Delta's other verified account responds

Delta’s other verified account responds

So I asked what they were going to do about it.  They replied:

Don't worry, they apologized.

Don’t worry, they apologized.

An apology is great and an important first step.  But there’s nothing to ensure such discrimination won’t happen again.

That's nice but not good enough.

That’s nice but not good enough.

One anonymous current employee shared that they receive absolutely no training about how to handle to treat breastfeeding mothers or of the airline’s breastfeeding policy.  This employee has experienced that such lack of training can result in an employee making a misstep such as @DeltaAssist apparently did and then be terminated as a result.  This hardly seems professional or fair.  The employees and the customers deserve better treatment.  I hope the social media representative keeps their job and is instrumental in helping the company implement a successful training program for all Delta employees in support of ending breastfeeding discrimination.

But perhaps the issue really isn’t about breastfeeding discrimination at all and rather a low view of woman as being little more than sex objects?  Thanks to @KellyKautz for this capture demonstrating that the airline is more than willing to encourage women to flaunt their breasts as long as they aren’t covered by a feed baby.

Screen capture by @KellyKautz of two tweets regarding women's breast by Delta social media representatives less than an hour apart.

Screen capture by @KellyKautz of two tweets regarding women’s breast by Delta social media representatives less than an hour apart.

 

 *UPDATE 2.05pm PST on 02.21.14

@ClassicHippie tweeted that she has not seen an apology from the airline.

Delta breastfeeding policy twitter fake apology

 

 

Delta breastfeeding policy twitter apology

What do you think?  What can Delta now do to communicate a clear family friendly policy that supports breastfeeding and trains their employees (including their social media representatives) accordingly?

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Comments

  1. I have flown many times with all 3 kids. At some time or another 2 of the 3 nursed during the flights. I do not use covers and I have never had an issue on a flight. I have flow United, Delta, Lufthansa and Southwest with zero issues. My guess is this is another case of a company lacking to properly educate their employees and the employee coming up with their own solution.

  2. I’ve flown and nursed many many times but never on Delta. It would never occur to me to ask the airline policy. I didn’t need permission to nurse, I was going to do it anyway. I wonder what the mom’s purpose was in asking, because there’s no need to ask. I’ve never ever encountered any negativity nursing.

    • Delta was sued for ordering a women off a plane in ’06 because she refused to cover her baby while nursing. Delta lost of course, but nevertheless, it had to go to court because the women was ordered off the plane. While I agree that a mother should be free to nurse whenever, wherever, I don’t blame her for asking in this situation since she was planning to fly Delta and they obviously have a rep for being very mama/baby UNfriendly.

  3. No Delta for myself, family, or friends that I do know.

  4. I had to fly an 8-hour flight on Air Canada this summer with my 4-month old EBF baby and when the staff saw my little guy they just assumed that I would breast feed him through the flight and immediately offered support- I didn’t have to ask or point it out. As soon as I was seated a crew member came over to teach me how to hold him in a safe breast feeding position for take off and landing. Then made my husband and I laugh because she called out to another crew member at the door of the plane “bring me some extra water over here! We have a breast feeding mama who needs some TLC!’ Then during the flight she brought me extra pillows to make nursing super comfy, and during the meal she asked if she could bring me more food and water. I honestly felt like I got a five star VIP treatment. I’ve never been so comfortable and visibly supported as a breast feeding mom as I was during that flight. As you can imagine, an 8-hour flight with a 4-month old should have been an excruciating experience, but instead it was fabulous. When we got off the plane everyone commented on how good our baby was. He didn’t cry or fuss once in the 8-hours… Obviously, why would he when he was free to nurse in total comfort? :)

    • If you haven’t, you definitely need to write to the airline and thank them for the great service you received. So many companies only hear complaints – they should hear the praise, too!

    • What an amazing experience for you and your family! I’m in tears and in awe of the support you had!

  5. I’m hoping this is a case of an untrained employee projecting their own biases, rather than an official company policy.

    Several years ago, I wrote a series of posts on breastfeeding on an airplane. It includes posts with tips on breastfeeding on a plane and also one on airline breastfeeding policies (I e-mailed many of them to ask). Here is a link with a list of those posts for anyone who is interested:

    http://www.phdinparenting.com/blog/2008/9/13/breastfeeding-on-an-airplane-the-collection.html

  6. I think it is ridiculous that they would say that to her. I personally didn’t like to breastfeed in front of people without a cover or something myself. So one time when I flew, i don’t remember the airline I took safety pins and asked for a blanket and pinned the blanket from the side of my seat to the seat in front of me. Basically making a privacy screen so I didn’t have to cover baby up to feed her. That might have been a good option for that lady and it should have satisfied the airline and not cause problems for the gal nursing.. I know they just should be able to nurse when ever and how ever they want though.

  7. I flew Delta with my two year old twins a number of years ago. They both nursed on the flight and the flight attendants were very nice. I didn’t think twice about it. No one said a thing.

  8. On more than one Southwest flight I have breastfed uncovered, and tandem breastfed covered. I got smiles or just simply privacy from my flight crew. Zero trouble. This Delta situation is ridiculous.

  9. I guess I wonder why ask the question? I never would have even thought to ask – I would have just gone ahead and traveled with my baby nursing as we went. But hey I once changed a baby on a TSA table!

    I have been fortunate, I have nurse my babies in public all over the place – planes, the frozen food section of the grocery store, Yankee stadium, restaurants, even once while kayaking across the pond. No one has ever said anything negative to me ever. But you can bet I was rehearsing my comeback in my head every time.

    Clearly the whole situation is just ridiculous – you could never in a million years be able to pump on a plane – pumping is awkward at best! But on a plane?

    Just go and feed your baby Classic Hippie! What are they going to do – throw you off the plane in mid flight? Hmmm, I guess they did that before huh?

    • I’ve pumped in an airline seat (not the bathroom) multiple times. I had a stranger to my right, husband on my left, battery pack and scarf to double for privacy. That’s when I traveled without my nursling. My husband helped me stay covered up, and the gentleman next to me just read his newspaper. It’s doable to pump on the airplane, but only without needing to attend to ANYTHING else. I could not imagine doing all of that and also managing a baby and a bottle every two hours,

  10. So, wait… Delta Airlines somehow forgot that the were SUED and LOST for this same exact sort of situation in 2006? Or is whoever runs their twitter account just that stupid?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/emily-gillette-delta_n_1354582.html

  11. I didn’t even think to ask an airline what their breastfeeding policy is, because it is none of their business! I flew Delta with my then 4mo old, flew US Airways when she was 7mos old with no “cover” – just my shirt and a lightweight blanket that my daughter would sometimes lift up.
    The Delta social media person is an idiot and that response is very stupid. Wow.

  12. I can’t even imagine this happening now. All babies need to be fed, regardless of how they get their milk. No permission needed. Thank you for bringing this to light. Boooo, Delta.

  13. Andrea Boffa says:

    I just posted this on TheBabyGuy’s Facebook page:

    I flew Air Canada just a few days ago, just my 8 month old and I. Trying to nurse in those tiny seats is no fun, for sure. But the gentleman next to me seemed totally cool when I nursed my little one. Asked me her age, told me about his new grandson, etc. As luck would have it, there were a bunch of empty rows, so he moved. But if this is the way more people would “react” to a nursing mother, the world would be a better place.

  14. Irony to end all ironies. The Delta main Twitter feed tweeted this less than 24 hours ago:

    Flash us your…smile & book now to celebrate #MardiGras in #NOLA. Save us some beads! #MSY http://oak.ctx.ly/r/q9rh pic.twitter.com/O7Vi0WlBHf

  15. I have only flown twice with a nursing child and never Delta. I had great experiences with Northwest when I flew with my baby. This is one more item added to a list of reasons Delta isn’t on my list any more

  16. Susan Bowen says:

    Delta Airlines: if my child needed to nurse while we were on one of your flights, I would nurse her – without a cover over her head. I do hope that you have no flights to NY, because NY law says a woman may breast feed her child anywhere and anytime. Tell me, would you have police at the gate to arrest me if my breast was exposed while feeding my baby? I would love to see the flashback from a move like that! I suggest you change you policy or educate you staff!!!

  17. I flew international with Delta international with my family, I was breastfeeding our 9 month at that point. None of the flight attendants or passengers caused any problem, neither I was asked to use a cover. It’s definitely not easy to breastfeed a 9 month old in economy without anyone noticing so I know everyone noticed at some point.

    On the return flight 2 weeks later I unexpectedly ended up sitting next to the same guy met on the flight to the USA and when asked if he would switch seats he was actually turning down the offer. The flight attendant clarified I would have an open seat during the overnight flight to be more comfortable with my infant in lap he understood. That’s how breastfeeding should be handled right? Where ever, whenever.

  18. This sounds like a case of one employee who doesn’t know the official policy. I flew Delta with my infant son just a few weeks ago, and knew I would need to breastfeed him on the flights.

    I contacted Delta in advance, just in case there would be any questions, and received a very nice email response with a positive answer as well as tips for traveling with an infant. The email specifically said “Delta supports a mother’s right to breast-feed on board.”

    I did choose to breastfeed covered, in courtesy of those sitting around me. The flight attendants were very helpful with information and on every flight I was asked if I needed any assistance. The flights and entire flying experience on Delta was a very pleasant one.

  19. Mariachristina says:

    That is beeeeeeyond ridiculous! I’ve breastfed both my babies on flights (a total of 16 flights!-2 with two)! I’ve never flown Delta. I happen to use a cover. On son’s second flight the lady sitting next to me for 4 hours said “it’s nice to know that he settles down under that sheet- you’re lucky to have figured that out”. I didn’t explain he had been nursing for practically the whole flight – she didn’t know: so it obviously wasn’t bothering her. MORE IMPORTANTLY he wasn’t disturbing the ppl who COULDN’T see him by screaming his head off. Which if I recall complaints of frequent flyers is the biggest concern – kids screaming not kids eating!!

    Like I said, I use a cover- so far it complies with the personalities of my kids. The second it doesn’t – the cover is gone – there will be no jumping through hoops to help ease the minds of prevented spectators. Breast feeding is about FEEDING. Not exposing yourself – I can’t believe we share the planet with some people. Seriously!!

  20. Brandi Sellers says:

    I few Delta with my son at 4 months and again at 15 months. I nursed without a cover on both trips, both of which included a connection, so four flights each trip. I never had any issues or comments good or bad.

    Also, you can totally pump in an airplane bathroom. I’ve done it many times when traveling for work. It’s not ideal by any means, but a mom has to do what a mom has to do. I set everything up on the changing table and tell anyone that knocks to F&%k off.

  21. Dawn L.G.M. says:

    They realized they were idiots (Delta that is…) https://twitter.com/DeltaAssist/status/436954778841927680

  22. I’ve flown many times and no one has ever given me a problem. Not even a sideways glance.

  23. It seems that company employees really need to understand local and federal law and their own company’s policies when it comes to breastfeeding before making comments like this. It seems as if many moms have flown Delta without any issues so it is frustrating that a few employees working on the social media site are giving out incorrect information and instructions that aren’t legal. Arg!

  24. I think you should deliberately fly on airlines that DO NOT support breastfeeding, and then give them a lesson in proper breastfeeding protocol. It’s sad that only by protesting do we nursing teams get anywhere. It’s sad that we even have to fight this fight.

  25. Alissa Johnson says:

    There shouldn’t have to be a POLICY. It is feeding a child!

  26. I’ve never flown with Delta, but last year I flew with southwest to LAX and volaris to Aguascalientes, Mex. Luckly I had no problems/complains in either flight.

  27. Totally ridiculous. Anyone who wrote that would surely realise even while typing how idiotic, unnecessary and just plain mean it is!

    I flew with Delta on my honeymoon and found everything about their service appalling so sadly not surprised. Will definitely be avoiding them wherever possible.

  28. Our Pediatricians aren’t trained/educated about breastfeeding. Why are we surprised that a flight attendant isn’t?

    • I don’t expect a flight attendant to be trained or educated about breastfeeding but I do expect them to be trained and educated in customer care, respect, and official policy supporting the law that protects breastfeeding women. Even more so for the PR individual that responded to the question as Delta’s social media representative. It is not out of the question for such professionals to be trained and educated that harassing a woman feeding her child or telling her how she may or may not do so is unacceptable. Ironically enough, the social media manager actually attempted to act like a breastfeeding expert by telling her to pump and bring her milk in bottles on the flight and go 6 hours without breastfeeding. Completely out of line. ~Jessica

  29. Just tried to link to this article in my new Delta Facebook review. It failed to load, and I got an error message telling me that it could not upload because my message contained a link that had been flagged as spam or something. Appalling.

    • OH NO. Grrrrrr… Ok, thank you! I’ll see if there’s anything I can do on my end but for now it’s loading and the site is up for me. Hopefully it stays that way. Thank you! ~Jessica

  30. I tweeted Delta back in August about breastfeeding on flight and I had a positive response! Sounds like they need to better train their employees so they all communicate the same message!

    https://twitter.com/DeltaAssist/status/364386315363966976

  31. I flew Delta to France last October, and had zero issues nursing my almost 2 yr old. In fact, just the opposite. On the flight back to the states, there were two nurslings, my toddler and an 8 month old. A generous flight attendant gave both my spouse and I, and the other mom (who was flying solo, via Delta, from Dubai to Pittsburgh, PA!), a break by hanging out with our kids. That flight attendant also congratulated me for making it to almost 2 years with a nursing relationship. So just the opposite of having to cover up – positive reinforcement for nursing in public with a toddler!

    Whomever is handling their twitter account needs to be educated, but by no means do they actually represent Delta’s policies or the staff with whom a flying customer may interact. I agree with others who question why the mom tweeted Delta about the policy.

    • Questioning the victim is blaming the victim. She was trying to avoid potential problems. The good news is it probably worked, I doubt she’ll encounter another uneducated, poorly trained employee when it comes time for her to actually travel. At least it happened this way and not when she was on the plane.

      I support the mother. ~Jessica

    • Love this – this is has been my experience with Delta too. I fly internationally twice a year from India where I live to the US where I am from. My kids have both bf on these flights with no issues. My daughter would tolerate a cover and my son does not. I just flew with him at 19 months and he fed often on our 22hr flight and we had no issues. I think the person/people on Twitter do not in any way represent the actual attendants on the flights.

  32. I was asked (on Delta) to stop nursing my toddler and put her in her car seat before takeoff once. She was under 2, but had her own seat. I wanted her strapped in anyway for safety and obliged. Minutes later the attendant runs back and apologizes for asking me to buckle her in. She didn’t realize she was under 2 until she finish the passenger count, and told me I could nurse her during takeoff. It seemed she had appropriate training other than assuming my child’s age based on my buying her a ticket.

  33. Only once was I bothered in regards to breastfeeding mid-flight. Don’t remember the airline, but an attendant offered me three different blankets (while I nursed). I put each one under my seat. At end of flight the attendant apologized saying that a fellow passenger had been very vocal about *her* discomfort. Ladies? Please support your fellow ladies?

  34. Kaylyn Makins Bigelow says:

    I flew on a Delta flight in December with my 2-month-old daughter, and had a flight attendant attempt to force a blanket over both of us while telling me that it was FAA policy that I needed to be covered up while breastfeeding. When I told her that it was not FAA policy and that I’d never had a problem on a flight before (and I’ve nursed without a cover many times on Delta flights – I also have a 2 1/2 year old son), she “consulted with her colleagues” and returned to tell me that I had to cover up. I definitely felt that I was risking getting kicked off the flight if I refused the blanket. I ended up taking the blanket but never using it to cover up. I did get an email and phone call apology from Delta afterward, assuring me that this is not their policy.

  35. I haven’t flown since my little girl (now 4.5) was 7 months, but the 6 (one round trip, one one way trip with a connection each time) flights were on Delta or Delta owned airlines. The first trip was at 6 weeks, a quickly booked flight to be home for my grandmother’s funeral..I definitely hadn’t planned on flying with such a young infant! I used a sling (a horrible sling that has been recalled and I’m so glad I’ve learned of better baby-wearing options since) and I used a cover then because we were just at the point that we knew what we were doing, breastfeeding wise! The next trip was at 7 months old when we moved from Anchorage, AK to Leesville, LA and it was on Mother’s Day no less. I’d been able to upgrade to first class with my miles, so I was taken care of a little better than in economy–they took my diaper bag and put it in the coat closet instead of making me stash it under my seat and brought it when needed, etc., and I can’t remember if I covered or not..I think I tried, but she fought it and it made a bigger scene, she wasn’t a fan of being covered anymore at that point. Either way, nobody said anything to me on any of the flights, except if I wanted more water I think. I’m so glad I never experienced any negativity in those situations and hope that they can train ALL of their employees on the laws about breastfeeding and the best way to support all parents on flights. Flying with kids is stressful enough, why not try to make it better, and by doing so, possibly create repeat customers??

  36. I’ve flown and nursed on literally a dozen Delta flights. Never covered (with a cover though you couldn’t see anything). Ok maybe with baby #1 I covered a couple times cause I was next to a stranger and nervous.

    Was the woman ok with the pumping answer? Did their answer make a difference as to if she was going to fly with her baby? I’d love to hear her side of the story! I’m assuming it’s her first baby. I was freaked out flying for the first time with my month old nursling. Well I’m glad now she knows it’s A-OK to nurse on the plane.

    I’m tempted to tweet every store I can think of and ask the same question to see if we can create a similar firestorm every day. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  37. Rachael D'Angelo says:

    What if breastfeeding mothers posted breastfeeding pics on the Delta Facebook page in protest? Especially when they still have that stupid post about flashing your….”smile” at Mardi Gras? We could call it a Breastfeeding SitE-In.

    Our demands are simple: institute a pro-breastfeeding company policy and company wide training, especially for customer service agents.

  38. If you need to feed your baby do it, and if the baby prefers not to have a cover, so be it. Maybe request a seat near a window or towards the back if she wants more privacy but Delta cannot prevent her from feeding her child. I fly Delta all the time internationally – our flight from Bombay to Detroit (with one stop in Paris or Amsterdam) is 22 hours. I have fed both my children on those flights. Most recently I flew home and back to India over the Christmas break and fed my then 19 month old multiple times. Both my son and daughter flew that trip when they were about 6 weeks old and I felt like all they did was bf but believe me when I say it is best for all involved to have that option – quiet/happy babies means a quiet/happy flight for all and nothing made my kids happier than bf! On all these occasions I have NEVER had a Delta or any of their affiliate airlines (KLM, Air France) say anything to me about feeding with or without a cover. Maybe Delta has a “policy” but no flight attendant has ever said boo to me about it – they have gushed about how “good and quiet” they were on such long flights though which brings me back to the point that bf is beneficial for all on the flight!

  39. You all know you have the law behind you to feed babies anywhere you need to. From a flight attendant that breastfeed and agrees it’s ridiculous that America is he only country that needed a law to make this happen it’s a cultural issue not a business. Delta has already publicly said they welcome moms to breastfeed with no cover required. No matter who you are flying with, the restaurant your eating at, the park bemch your on, or gofar eenough south maybe even the church pew your sitting in someone will be ignorant enough to sexualize a mom feeding a baby. Only in America, literally.
    You guys need to find a way to educate without looking likea bunch of bullies. Delta does not have anything against breastfeeding again no matter where you are in America there will be someone who is uneducated enough to respond as deltas intern did. Feed off of the culture for correction stop making yourselves look like a bunch a whiny bullies on deltas page.
    Your protected by law. Next step culture change not bullying a Facebook page please for all us breastfeeding moms just stop

    • It’s bullying to ask a company to train their employees not to harass breastfeeding mothers? I’m sorry, I don’t see how people, customers to a company, are bullies by stating what it is they value in a company. I value a company that clearly communicates to their employees that it is never ok to harass a breastfeeding mother. Or anyone, ever. While I agree that it is cultural, incidents like a mom getting kicked off a plane for feeding her baby (the lawsuit Delta just settled last year) or asked to cover or leave a restaurant won’t stop happening and the culture won’t change. A policy change will ensure that employees are properly trained and it doesn’t happen again. ~Jessica

  40. I have flown with Delta while breastfeeding, and was never asked to cover. Thank goodness! I think it’s entirely possible that this whole situation was brought on by one person and their opinions, rather than that of the company. Because if they’re not trained to deal with breastfeeding mothers a certain way, it only seems logical that someone handling their Twitter account would answer however they felt. It also seems like whoever was responsible has no information at all about breastfeeding, because anyone who did would know that pumping and bottle feeding on a plane is unrealistic and extremely complicated. SMH.

  41. I breastfed all three of my boys. I just fed them anywhere, anytime they needed fed. I never asked permission from anyone, even when we flew. Breastfeeding has been around since the beginning of the human race. It really isn’t a big deal and I don’t understand moms making a big issue. Just feed your baby and get it over with. You don’t need to stick your whole boob out for people to see that you are breastfeeding. Be discreet and you won’t get stared at. And I am not talking about covering up either.

  42. When they’ve apologized and said they welcome breastfeeding without a cover and also apologized for the misinformation and you can believe that intern at twitter is no longer there then yes it’s time to move on from deltas page. Call the media and highlight the event but currently all your doing is looking like crazy people and blocking the posts of passengers that need assistance because you’ve hijacked a page for a political agenda.
    In America there’s always going to be a person inept enough to sexualize a mom feeding a baby.
    Take all these issues to a media source and work with a public figure to get the issue out there for change. Please tell me what you think your changing by hijacking a page meant to be a place for passenger’s to get informed and help? Nothing you’ve done nothing. Ignorance is abundant in every business in America regarding this issue surely working with the media or other high profie figure can advance your agenda further rather than posting the same things repeatedly on a passenger help forum?
    At this point it’s spam and blocking people’s posts with legit travel questions.
    And besides why as a mother does one ask to feed a baby, no, you just feed your baby. If you have moms that feel like they have to ask if it’s ok to feed a baby in any setting you’ve got bigger problems within the issue itself than some 22 yr old intern that I’d bet my house has been let go.

  43. No baby went hungry here. Delta backtracked. Did I really read that people think the woman asking the question deserves compensation? Are you kidding me?

    This kind of advocacy is why breastfeeding isn’t normalized. Leaky Boob – please switch sides. You are not helping the cause in any way.

  44. Here’s the deal. I’d like to help. If you have any ideas on ways to change cultural issues that sexualize or demoralize breastfeeding in anyway, shape, or form please advise.
    I work for a legacy and given the rage towards delta maybe I can speak to younger new hires that don’t have children about why we needed, and how it came to be thta a federal law to protect moms feeding their babies (sounds crazy laws had to be passed typing it), came about and how it did so. It’s unfortunate that only in ‘merica would we need it.
    Look we all should just nurse when we need and have to. Why is anyone even asking for permission to feed their child? Culture change is needed for moms too. Do they know they are protected by law, do they know what their rights are if an employee of a business they’re using services of asks or even demanded they cover or worse stop? Why do moms feel like they need permission?
    Change the culture campaign please let’s not campaign against specific businesses based on isolated individuals who are undereducated or just unaware of breastfeeding laws.
    Educate don’t berate an entire group for a select few individuals.
    I’m asking how I can help? Do you provide literature to moms and individuals that don’t understand that feeding a baby is natural and normal? What do you think they think babies ate before formula came about? LOL. Literature needs laws and each specific states law along with mothers rights to be distributed to moms and anyone else that questions breastfeeding in public.

    • She did the right thing by asking….although it should be common courtesy to cover up. If I sat there and plopped my boob out, folks would be very offended and uncomfortable….feeding or not. For me, my body is something that is private, between my man and I and soon my new baby.

  45. I agree with liza’s comment “Did I really read that people think the woman asking the question deserves compensation? Are you kidding me?”

    Let’s be real, people are trying to get money off of everything anymore!

    I am sure a lot of you won’t like my next coment though.

    So what, if someone owns a restaurant or other business, it should be the right of the owner to choose if they allow open breastfeeding in public. But of course you all would have a fit if a restaruant had a sign up saying you needed to cover up even if it was on the front door and you could choose not to go in if you didn’t like it.

    I have seen many women breastfeeding very descreetly that didn’t seem to have a problem doing so.
    If you have been breastfeeding for that long, you should know how to do it descreetly and then you won’t have to worry about being asked to cover up!

  46. *said a word (sorry for the typo)

  47. I can’t wait to fly Delta again so I can nurse and wait for someone to chastise me! I have a fantasy of turning to the rest of the passengers and asking, “So, is this really bothering any of you?”

    • I have had great experiences flying Delta – as have much of the responders on this site. Hopefully this is a one-off negative experience.

  48. Anne Reader says:

    This is ridiculous. The airline apologized for the miscommunication and now all you want to do is publicly humiliate them. Why isn’t anyone asking why this mother is flying with a 10 week old baby? That is never recommended by doctors and is dangerous to the babies health. Get over it and move on.

  49. Anne Reader says:

    Interesting how my post was deleted because I chose to represent the other side of this debate. I guess your end-game is only to bash Delta, not to look at both sides. Have you tweeted Delta to apologize yet? Probably not. Oh well, guess this post will be deleted as well because I don’t agree with you. Nice way to get your message out.

  50. Get over yourselves, you self-righteous hippies (heck, this woman’s Twitter name is even @classiehippie for crying out loud!) screaming that this is the law, blah blah. Does a woman legally have the right to breastfeed in public? Sure thing. Personally, I wouldn’t be offended, but there are some people who are simply uncomfortable with it. It’s within their right to express that discomfort too…..you know, that little something called freedom of speech. Go back to your VW vans and smoke some more weed losers!

  51. Dear Jessica,

    I think you and my wife, Christine, would get along really well. My wife is an author and changed the laws of having chickens in Providence. Her blog is http://www.christinechitnis.com

    Nevertheless last year (February 2013) we had a horrible experience on the way down from Charlotte to Montego Bay with regards to breastfeeding. Here is what I wrote to US Airways:

    Dear US Airways, I would like to lodge a complaint of a serious violation of my wife’s civil rights to breastfeed in public. I’m writing from Montego, Jamaica on vacation right now. Yesterday when we traveled from Charlotte, NC to Montego the first class stewardess was quite abrupt, rude and confrontational. Our seats were 1A, 1C and 1F. My wife was sitting with our six month old infant in 1F which is a window seat. She was breastfeeding him when the stewardess asked her to cover up. First of all, Christine (my wife) feeding him turned to the window itself. Secondly, as I later looked up the law on internet I found the following quote: Not only is it legal to breastfeed in the United States, but many states have enacted laws to protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in any place, public or private, as long as she’s authorized to be there. Some states have laws so strict that asking a nursing mother to stop, cover up, or move elsewhere is a violation of her civil rights and gives her grounds to sue for damages in a court of law. My two year old who was sitting with me in 1A and 1C and asked to see his grandparents who were seated further back. He was about to have a meltdown and I didn’t want to disturb the other first class passengers so I wanted to switch with his grandmother. She was told to go back which is fine but the manner was once again quite rude. When I returned to my seat the first class stewardess (there was only one) was quite confrontational in her conversational style. She told me to that we were told not to switch which wasn’t true but anyways I relented since she said it was company policy. However, her first words were, “you think you own the plane” which was an interesting tone for not only a customer but a first class passenger. However, I humbly agreed since it was company policy that we will abide. I asked her why she asked my wife to cover up while breastfeeding. Once again her logic and rudeness where quite apparent. She said you cannot have your breast hanging out but this wasn’t the case. When I informed her it was the law to breast feed she said, “Well and go and sue us” which was an interesting technique of approaching the customer. There were other comments before the conversation I had with her about the breastfeeding and it all focuses on her customer service. The first thing she said to me when I got on the plane and had my backpack (full of kids diapers, food etc) on the ground in front of me, “You know you cannot keep that there” instead of something like, “Only during takeoff and landing must the bag be stored” or something a bit more polite. In short, customers know when someone is rude and being not that friendly. However, to be told you think you own the plane and sue us is just outrageous. My wife and I for the rest of the trip felt uncomfortable and she was worried about feeding our infant. I would love to speak with someone about this incident which I can elaborate. I would also love to hear her side of this story but I have three adults corroborating my story. Nevertheless, we are traveling back to Charlotte and onto Providence on February 24 and frankly we are worried. Regards, Vijay Chitnis PS. I travel internationally 5 times a year and have lived in multiple countries, and am Ivy League educated. This has been my worst experience with a stewardess ever in my extensive air travel.

    Any advice on how to proceed if at all there is any point to proceed?

    Regards,
    Vijay

  52. Hi, I’m currently pregnant and do plan on breastfeeding. I would still be very uncomfortable if I was on a 6 hour flight on expensive Delta airlines and sitting next to a woman who plops out her boob and starts feeding. I wouldn’t want it done next to me at all but atleast cover up. Some things should be private. If I have to travel, I shall pump it up. Take care of ur baby by all means but you still have to be considerate of others. It goes both ways.

  53. I don’t know about other mamas but I don’t really get a choice whether my boobs are out or not; it’s done for me by my little bean! (She really has no qualms about exposing me in public!) So I would really struggle with a forced “cover up” policy. Whilst I used to feel embarrassed by this, I’ve learnt that it’s normal and not something to be hidden away. Mamas shouldn’t be afraid to feed their child in public; hopefully in time breastfeeding will be embraced for the wonderful, beautiful and natural act that it is. I just wrote a post on this in my blog if anyone would like to read it:

    http://mamaamore.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/hello-boobs.html

    Please share if you enjoy Xxx

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  55. Tatjana Bevans says:

    I would say that delta does not follow their policies. Yesterday I was moved from my seat in economy comfort (5A) to the very last row of the plane because I was breast feeding. I was moved right next to the bathroom into a cramped row with no recline (22A). Delta told me it was their policy to move the mother if others were uncomfortable. And I even covered up ever time I breast fed. Delta definitely has no tolerance for breastfeeding mothers.

    • Hi Tatjana,

      I am so incredibly sorry for your experience. I would be willing to help you reach out to Delta to resolve this and help them make sure they are consistent with their policies. That should never have happened.

      ~Jessica

      • Tatjana Bevans says:

        Hi Jessica, I would love your help in addressing this issue. I’m just not sure what to do next. I’ve called the complaint line twice and sent an email. Each time they blame me for the incident. I don’t want this to happen to any other breastfeeding mother. Delta sent an auto-generated letter to say the issue would be addressed within 30 days.

      • Tatjana Bevans says:

        Thank you Jessica,
        I would love any help you could offer. I’ve called the customer line twice and written an email. Each time they find a way to blame me. I received a auto-generated letter stating they would address the issue within 30 days. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.

    • Tatjana Bevans says:

      Thank you Jessica,
      I would love any help you could offer. I’ve called the customer line twice and written an email. Each time they find a way to blame me. I received a auto-generated letter stating they would address the issue within 30 days. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.

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