Friday, November 17, 2006

Airlines and breastfeeding

My friends on the Parenting as Ministry email group forwarded this link to me...
"Nursing a grudge: parents support breastfeeding."

I'm amazed and annoyed. Have we come so far as to get nowhere on this issue? First of all, the whole family was inconvenienced with a three hour delay. I've had to handle children after a three hour delay in an airport. It isn't ideal. That the child needed to eat after being delayed was probably a part of choosing to nurse on the aircraft.

But apparently an employee of the airline, a flight attendant, was as upset that she was nursing a toddler as she was nursing, period. And handed her a blanket, which the mother said she did not need and declined. And it was the flight attendant, not a customer who complained that she was "offended!" So the parents -- who were already inconvenienced by the airline's delay -- had to deplane??? This is silly.

Have we all forgotten that humans are MAMMALS??? That breastfeeding is not erotic and does not have an age cut-off? That a nursing 22 month old would be quiet and comforted as the plane took off instead of screaming? Geesh. I mean, the woman did not stand up and say "watch this!!" and then strip off her clothes and expose her nipples. She was sitting in her seat. By the window. With her husband in the aisle seat. With her seatbelt on. Nursing her child.

Will the airline hand out blankets for other people who have almost-exposed body parts? To women in low-cut blouses or wearing thongs that show over the edge of their jeans? Or maybe cover tshirts that have a message that is not politically correct? How about men with shirts that aren't buttoned up? I mean, chest hair is so sexy. It might make it hard for a flight attendant to do her job...

I am proud to support women who choose to breastfeed. Period. This stigma has got to go!!!

From our home to yours-


Tricia said...

It is so silly. I wonder if the airline would hand out blankets to cover other people who are *eating*?? "Excuse me, miss, that man over there is smacking his lips. Can you put a blanket on him so I'm not aware he is eating?"

Cathy said...

This has been so distressing to me. I nursed all three of my children, some longer than the average in this country. What blows my minds is that we can watch so much in movies and tv, some of it really inappropriate, but we will not tolerate a childre receiving sustenance? So very very sad.

Deb said...

I'm with you on that one!

Apparently, it was the age of the nursling as much as the nursing itself. People seem to have a problem with nursing toddlers, etc. but have no problem with them still sucking on a pacifier... (sigh)