Have you ever been harassed for breastfeeding or pumping when traveling?
by Jeanne Sager
Moms, we've got another breastfeeding brouhaha on our hands. Only -- dare I say it? -- Dawn Brahos tangle with an American Airlines flight attendant over her right to pump her breast milk on a plane might end up helping moms in the end?
Did you know some airlines actually have mom friendly pumping policies? I confess I didn't! But thanks to Dawn Brahos, now more moms should know the deal.
Most "traveling and breastfeeding" tips I've read on the internet advise moms pump in the airport or buy a battery-powered pump just for the trip (or one of those hand-powered pumps). That's what the moms I know say they've done. But Moms, it could be a heckuva lot easier than that!
It turns out American is one of those airlines that actually has pre-approved certain electric pumps for use on its planes. That means moms can go ahead and plug them in; not questions asked. There's even an approval process for getting other brands OK'd for use on long trips away from your baby.
In the midst of all the bad news about this mom getting kicked out of this place for breastfeeding or that mom being harassed there for feeding her child, I dare say this is actually a huge win ... and one we need to celebrate.
It's unfortunate that it came out because of something not so nice, of course.
Brahos, who was taking a rare trip with her husband away from their three kids, including baby Adrien, has said she managed to pump on two different flights. It was on the last leg of her trip, after her flight home got diverted because of a storm and she had to spend an extra night in a hotel, that Brahos encountered a flight attendant with a bee in her bonnet about breast pumping on the plane. She was berated for just trying to relieve her aching, engorged boobs, and you can guess what happened next.
American has apologized big time, and Brahos is accepting their apology.
Good for the airline, and good for her for making a stink. Good for her, too, for deciding to make the story public.
She just clued countless moms into policies that could make a huge difference in their decisions on how to travel ... and make them more comfortable to boot!
Do you pump on airplanes when you travel? Have you ever been harassed?