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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
What is wrong with people??
So a woman was kicked off of a Delta Airlines flight because she was breastfeeding her 22 month old daughter and would not cover her with a germy airline blanket.

She was in the next to last row and next to the window. Her husband was right beside her. The stewardess asked her to cover up (they had not taken off yet but had been delayed for three hours) and she said that she had a legal right to breastfeed. The stewardess said she was "offended" and next thing you know, she's kicked off the plane.

As someone who has been on 8 flights in the last three months with a baby and as someone who has breastfed on each and every flight, I think I am qualified to speak on this topic.

Here are some links.

Now, let me address some comments I've heard about this particular story.

1) She shouldn't be breastfeeding a 22 month old.

The world average age for a breastfeeding child is over 2 years, closer to three years. It's only in North America that we have a hang up about breastfeeding and yet don't blink when our 16 year olds dress like slutty mcslutterson.

1a) There's no nutritional value in breastmilk after the first few months.

Breastmilk constantly changes its make-up. This leads many scientists to believe that we were meant to breastfeed longer because our children have different needs.

Ice cream, Big Macs and Doritos don't have much nutritional value either. Sometimes we just eat them for comfort. Just like that baby was doing.

2) She offends me.

Don't you know how to look away? The guy picking his nose two seats over offends me too. I just don't look at him.

The overweight person eating ice cream, Big Macs and Doritos offends me. Maybe next time I'll go up to them and say "your eating offends me... can't you eat something else?" Wouldn't that be fun?

2a) Can't she feed her baby something else?

Have you attempted to take liquids on a plane recently? Even if she wanted to take an empty sippy cup (assuming her daughter drinks from one, not all kids do), the stewardesses will not fill your cup with anything prior to take-off. Ever been in a flight with a child screaming becuase his ears were popping? Guess what helps... drinking and breastfeeding.

3) She should have just covered up.

Oh-ho-ho-ho... me thinks you have never tried to nurse a big baby... a toddler... as someone on one of my groups said "it's like trying to wrap a kitten in a paper bag". Some kids will have none of the blanket. And as a mom I think I'll pass on the rent-a-germ blankets.

It is obvious to me that she chose the most discreet place in the plane that she could find. I know this because I've booked 8 flights in three months and I always ask for the furthest back and next to a window so I can turn my body slightly and nurse my daughter.

3a) Don't I have the right to not be offended?

No, actually, you don't. Check it out... read the constitution. There is no law that says it's illegal for you to be offended. Please refer to #2.

Conversely, this mother does have the legal right to breastfeed wherever she chooses. (In the U.S. it is called the "Right to Breastfeed Act" (H.R. 1848) and was signed into law in 1999)

The law doesn't say the "right to breastfeed under a blanket or in the nearest bathroom".
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 10:44 PM

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay Heather! I think you'd like the post I wrote on a similar topic a week or two ago ...

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Kira said...

Beautifully said!

At 6:40 AM, Blogger homemom3 said...

I agree with all of that. I wrote about this the day everyone started talking about it. It is such a shame that she was booted off the plane.

Oh, there is a new update on all of this. The flight person did get in some trouble.

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Jenn said...

Did the airlines make it up to her? I would think they would be bending over backwards to avoid bad press?


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