Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

    Breastfeeding Action Update

    Posted November 22nd, 2006 by

    We have exciting news on this front: You all are amazing! Last week in response to news that a ticket agent forced a mother off a Freedom Air flight run by Delta Air Lines for breastfeeding on-board, MomsRising put up a petition and you responded (and can still respond!). In less than a week the petition gathered over 20,000 signatures telling Delta Air Lines that breastfeeding mothers should be supported, as well as supporting the Breastfeeding Promotion Act before Congress. Over 20,000 signatures! Emails and calls from MomsRising members, as well as regular updates about the high number of petition signatures, pushed both Delta and Freedom Airlines to issue statements underscoring their commitment to allowing women to breastfeed onboard planes. Freedom Air also noted that the incident would serve as a training opportunity for all employees.

    DELTA AIRLINES STATEMENT: “Delta Air Lines supports a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby onboard our aircraft. We regret the decision to remove the passenger from Flight 6160 as it was not in keeping with Delta’s high service standards, and we are coordinating with Freedom Airlines to ensure that they deliver the level of service we expect for all of our customers.”

    NEXT STEPS: Right now, Delta Airlines is contemplating officially supporting the Breastfeeding Promotion Act which is currently before Congress. So please give Delta a call to thank them for taking a strong stand on behalf of breastfeeding mothers, and encourage Delta to actively support the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Getting more signatures on the petition helps let our leaders know that citizen support is strong.

    *To sign the petition (and ask friends to sign on), go to: http://www.momsrising.org/breastfeeding-petition

    MomsRising is committed to making it possible for all mothers who want to breastfeed their children to be able to do so. In an effort to build a country that’s truly family-friendly, MomsRising supports policies and programs that allow mothers to make that choice—including policies like paid family leave and flexible work options.

    Together we’re building a more family-friendly America. Thank you! – The MomsRising Team

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    15 Comments

    January 14, 2007 at 6:35 am by Anonymous

    Wow! I can think of many things that are immoral and degrading but that are socially acceptable in the U.S. Breastfeeding is not one of them. Could you please explain exactly what is so indecent and rude about it???

    Proud Breastfeeding Mom

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    January 11, 2007 at 2:51 am by Anonymous

    Phew, i am SO glad i live in a country where it is acceptable to breastfeed in public, i am shocked and disgusted by some of these comments.

    Breastfeeding is so important to the health of a baby, by making it dificult for women to feed their babies in public it would become the norm to bottle feed fomula instead. Breast milk is individually designed for the baby, it contains antibodies and is the best nutritional food a baby can get, how can anyone be disgusted by that?.
    When you see a woman breastfeeding in public it’s not because she’s trying to get attention or expose herself or prove a point, it simply boils down to fufilling her babys’ need, food.

    I’m afraid it’s something you guys are going to have to just get used to, it WILL be the social norm.

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    January 17, 2007 at 10:12 pm by Anonymous

    This public breastfeeding issue has nothing to do at all with nutrients and a screaming hungry baby ok!!!. This whole issue is about public indecent exposure, we cannot make nudity an acception to feed our children. Its Liberal lunatics like you who are miseducating a newer breed generation to be rude and disrespectful to one a nother which is what public breastfeeding is. No one is denying your rights to breastfeed, we are just asking for common curtiousy, respect and being polite to one a nothers compforts to take your breastfeeding habits to a bathroom or a car where it wont offend much of the world. When ignorant liberal LUNATICS like you make public indecent exposre the social norm such as public breastfeeding, you are making sociaty out to be a bunch of ignorant primative savages. These are the same ignorant free society people like you who will someday make urinating-defacating in public be the social norm

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    November 22, 2006 at 5:45 pm by Anonymous

    You should be aware that at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Aiport, the nurse-in was shut down after about 15 minutes by 3 police officers, one of which told a nursing mother that what she was doing was obscene, indecent, disorderly, etc., and another one threatened to arrest the women for indecent exposure and/or disorderly conduct.

    I’ve blogged here:
    http://mommyblawg.blogspot.com/2006/11/delta-lactivism-update-todays-nurse-in.html

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    November 22, 2006 at 10:00 pm by Anonymous

    OK, this still isn’t clear to me. Given that so many people, even on this website, think that asking a woman to cover up when breastfeeding isn’t really asking that much, doesn’t it seem reasonable to ask Delta to clarify that they support a woman’s right to breastfeed WITHOUT being asked to cover up, move to the restroom, etc etc, no matter how upset an employee or another passenger gets?

    I am all for praising companies that really get on board with breastfeeding, but this statement sounds like a platitude. Was the flight attendant reprimanded? Disciplined in any way? Was the family who was escorted off the plane compensated in any way? Will Delta be paying a fine for violating the law? Makine a donation to La Leche League? Handing out cards to all passengers clarifying the rights of mothers with a phone number to call if anyone messes with a mother?

    According to the article in the Vermont newspaper, the flight had been delayed by over 3 hours and it was after 10PM when this woman tried to settle her 22 month old for take off. I am sure that everyone, including the flight attendants were tired and crabby, but taking it out on a mother and a 22 month old is pretty low.

    I will, as you direct, call Delta on Monday and thank them for the statement, and to ask them to support the legislation before Congress. But I am also going to chide them for 1. taking so long to get on board with supporting mothers and 2. not clarifying that I can nurse on a plane WITHOUT being asked to cover up. I will be nice. Just meticulously clueless and needing repeating over and over what I am supposed to do if someone asks me to cover up. Cause their statement doesn’t say I can actually show tit, just nurse. I won’t mention that my daughter weaned a year ago.

    Thanks for taking the lead on this one.

    Elizabeth Allemann, MD

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    November 24, 2006 at 10:39 am by Anonymous

    This is very helpful information & I now consider myself forewarned … we will be flying Delta with our nursing toddler at Christmastime. (In a delayed late-night flight situation wouldn’t ANYONE rather have a happy nursing toddler than a thwarted wish-I-were-nursing-to-sleep toddler?)

    I am very thankful to have flown innumerable times with nursing little ones and never (yet) encountered such hostility.

    Kim Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC

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    November 27, 2006 at 1:59 pm by Anonymous

    Are you saying that the government and medical profession believe that it is best for mothers and children if mothners expose their breasts while breast feeding in public? That’s certainly what it said and that is totally ridiculous. Who wants to see a bare breast with a baby sucking on the end? Not me and I am a mother and grandmother who nursed 3 children. Please be decent and cover up ladies or maybe I should say sluts or exhibitionist.

    Annie in CA

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    December 7, 2006 at 8:49 am by Anonymous

    I can not believe that someone would say that a breastfeeding mother is a slut because she breastfeeds in public! I mean COME ON!!! What world do you live in? Ask any doctor and they will tell you that breastfeeding is more healthy then giving your child formula in a bottle. Wow I just can not believe someone would say something like that, let me guess, you voted for Bush too right?! I have breastfed my children and am currently breastfeeding my 4 week old baby boy. It is the most majical thing to be able to give your child what he/she needs through your own body. I just can not believe that some people actually think that way.

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    January 14, 2007 at 6:42 am by Anonymous

    Annie in CA,
    You’re telling other people to be “decent” and cover up while nursing. Why don’t you be decent and drop the name calling. Calling women sluts isn’t very nice. I try to cover with the top of my shirt as best as I can but if some nipple shows, who cares? You do? Then don’t look!

    Proud Breasfeeding Mom

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    November 28, 2006 at 9:19 am by Anonymous

    I am a Delta flight attendant and I want you to know I would NEVER ask a nursing mother to cover up, or take any action while nursing.
    Flight attendants are nursing mothers too. I flew Miami-New York-Miami turns 2-3 days a week while nursing my baby. I pumped my breasts each morning before going to work.
    Please don’t let the actions of ONE flight attendant determine your opinion of us.
    Thank you,
    Delta Flight Attendant

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    November 29, 2006 at 1:20 am by Anonymous

    I am a guy with 2 small kids. I have heard of several incidents like this happen on airplanes. Whats with these people? Typically, (unless you are trying to look) one cannot see anymore than what you would if a woman wore a low cut dress. Dont see anyone yelling at the lovely ladies on “Deal or no Deal” to cover up. If someone asked me me wife to stop feeding my baby in a similar situation, I would have some very choice words for them!

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    November 30, 2006 at 4:12 pm by Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Breastfeeding Rally To Take Place At DFW Airport

    Contacts:
    Maria Pokluda Tel: 972-745-8523 Cell: 214-684-1275 Email: bpokluda@yahoo.com
    Amy Philo Tel: 214-705-0169 Cell: 817-793-8028 Email: amyphilo@yahoo.com

    Nursing mothers and their supporters will be gathering on Friday, December 1 at 10 AM, at the Delta ticket counter in Terminal E of DFW airport.

    On November 21, mothers and other advocates took part in a nation-wide nurse-in at roughly 40 U.S. airports. Like all of the rallies across the country, the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Nurse-in supported the right to breastfeed in all public and private locations, anywhere a mother and child might be, regardless of any issues of discretion. There was no formal national organization sponsoring this event, but amazingly, hundreds of mothers and other supporters turned out nation-wide. Unlike the rest of the nation, however, the supporters at the DFW Airport rally were harassed, insulted, and threatened with possible arrest by members of the DFW police (Department of Public Safety officers), and then asked to leave.

    Though the right to breastfeed already exists, many people are unaware of this right, or may choose to challenge this right, or otherwise intimidate and cause discomfort for nursing moms, posing a great threat to the continuation and exclusivity of breastfeeding relationships and compromising the health of mothers and children, and the economic well-being of the society.

    The goals of this Friday’s nurse-in are:

    • To insist that the DFW Airport Police (DPS) apologize to the attendees of the November 21st rally for the unacceptable comments and threats, and provide documentation that training is being implemented to educate all DPS officers about the laws concerning breastfeeding in the state of Texas (specifically Texas Health And Safety Code Chapter 165 Section 002, which states “A mother is entitled to breastfeed her child in any location in which the mother is authorized to be,” as well as the definitions of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct). The DPS should ensure that in the future, officers will protect, rather than endanger breastfeeding relationships, by refraining from engaging in harassment of nursing moms and their children. The police should not approach breastfeeding mothers, but rather the mothers should be left alone.
    • To hold Delta accountable for the removal of Emily Gillette from one of their flights and to insist that training procedures will be put into place to ensure that all staff at Delta and its subsidiaries will uphold and support a child’s right to breastfeed.
    • To call for airlines to revisit their breastfeeding and transport of pumped breast milk policies, to support traveling families and working mothers who must travel for business and be separated from their children. Current policies about liquid items, which restrict the amount of pumped breast milk allowed on board with mothers who do not have their babies with them, compromise the health of babies who depend on pumped milk, and force mothers to dump precious breast milk that they have pumped while they were separated from their children. This situation is especially harmful for babies whose mothers already have difficulty pumping enough to meet the child’s needs during times of separation.
    • To call for immediate passage of pending federal legislation that offers civil rights protection for breastfeeding women in the workplace, and new federal legislation to protect the right to breastfeed whenever and wherever mothers and their children are allowed to be, regardless of whether any part of the mother’s breast might be exposed during or incidental to the feeding. This legislation will clarify rights that already exist, and nullify any business policies or laws throughout the country that are already in place or might come into existence, which would infringe on a mother and child’s constitutional right to breastfeed (For example, Tennessee law protects a mother’s right to breastfeed a child in public only as long as the child is younger than 13 months of age).

    The issue of breastfeeding rights goes far beyond a woman’s right to nurse – it also encompasses a basic human right for children, the right to eat and to receive comfort and nurturing at the breast.

    The Nurse-ins have been coordinated by volunteers.

    For more information about this event, contact Maria Pokluda or Amy Philo directly.

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    December 4, 2006 at 8:17 am by Anonymous

    There is a primal need for every animal and child to nurse from their mothers. Do we shield our eyes, our kid’s eye or our husband’s eye when we see a baby cow nursing from it’s mother. No. We say something like “Oh! How sweet!”

    I surround myself with other moms that feel the same way so we become all equally shocked when a mother is denied the opportunity to nurse.

    I choose to breastfeed (2 kids) because it is the best choice for me and my family. I wasn’t thinking that “Woo hoo! I can show my breasts off in public!” If that was my goal I’d be dressing like Britney Spears.

    If someone wants to sneak a peak while I am nursing, I say go for it! My breasts hang low, they’re lop-sided they leak and are streaked with stretch marks. So if someone finds them interesting to look at then I say they are the perverted ones because I definitely shouldn’t be one to be flaunting my breasts to anyone but my nursing kids!

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    December 4, 2006 at 12:10 pm by Anonymous

    I read the article about this case and something seems amiss to me.

    I breastfed for 15 months. I breastfed on at least 6 flights, always when taking off and again when landing to relieve ear pressure for my son, and again when it was time. I support breastfeeding when/where a baby is hungry.

    If I had a choice to hold up a blanket, which one can certainly do and give our infants plenty of room to breathe, or to leave an airplane, I’m sorry, but I would go with the blanket. To put my family out, to put my child in a stressful situation when there was a simple alternative, seems like a much worse choice than picking up a blanket. She even had her husband there to hold it up so it wasn’t even over the baby.

    This sounds suspiciously like someone trying to make a buck. Sorry if that offends anyone; that’s how I read it.

    I think the airline was wrong to ask her. I think the family was wrong to react that way. I would sign a petition if I knew she did the right thing. They didn’t just kick her off; she chose to leave.

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    December 10, 2006 at 11:18 am by Anonymous

    Obscenity is completely abhorrent to me. But what would I call obscene?

    Certainly not a woman breastfeeding in public. Cover upa? Why the hell should anyone breastfeeding cover up? To satisfy someone else’s sense of decency? The only reason a woman should cover up is to feel secure in herself and to allow her baby(ies) to have the comfort that coverings might give them.
    There are no other reasons.

    Morality is a deep muddy swamp that engulfs anyone who attempts to use it. The same people who demand mothers cover up are guilty of believing that the sight is for some reason best kept out of public view. They are the culprits, not the mothers.
    It is natural for mothers to breast feed. If there is an absolute moral stance here, it is to allow them, nay, enable them, to do it.
    There are societies where it is accepted as a norm for females to be bare-breasted – whether or not they are breast feeding.
    If morals can be called in to support views that it should be against the law for mothers to breast feed, then morals can be called in to support anything you choose. Public exposure of dogs’ genitals. Public advertising designed to titillate. Public exposure of the crotch of mens’ pants, for they include an obvious adaptation to enable access to the penis.
    Brassieresa, which enhance the female bosom.

    All of these things are, in fact, laughable. To live in a society where there are people with such refined sensibilities that they cannot tolerate a breast feeding mother says as much about us as a man who rapes his wife and claims that it’s his right. A woman who deliberately titillates then is beaten because she denies a man his satisfaction. A child who is sent home from school because his hair is a strange color.

    It is this strange super-moral attitude that prevents people from living with a degree of normality.

    I long for the day when people will live more like people. It doesn’t seem likely as long as a supermoral man or woman can obtain some satisfaction under law by enforcing a moral rule upon others, yet denies its broad application to his or her own life.

    [Reply]

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