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2019-07-16 19:20:31


Published 12:25 PM EDT Jul 16, 2019

A mom issued a warning to any nursing mothers who are considering traveling with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: don't.

In a Facebook post to the airline's page, Shelby Angel detailed an incident on a flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam where she said the attendant told her to cover up while breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter.

Angel said she nurses her child to calm her during the flight and make her comfortable. 

I do my best to be discreet, but sometimes some skin shows. Before we even took off, I was approached by a flight attendant carrying a blanket. She told me (and I quote) 'if you want to continue doing the breastfeeding, you need to cover yourself,' the mom wrote.  I told her no, my daughter doesn't like to be covered up. That would upset her almost as much as not breastfeeding her at all.

'Shame women's bodies'

According to Angel, the flight attendant told her that if anyone on the flight complained then it would be the attendant's issue to deal with. While no one protested her breastfeeding in public, Angel said she felt disrespected by the flight attendant. 

The mom said she filed a complaint with the airline when she got home, to which they told her their employee was acting in accordance with their policy and she needs to be respectful of other people's culture. 

More: Mother says she was 'angry and embarrassed' when Ryanair crew told her to stop breastfeeding

So instead of standing up for and protecting breastfeeding mothers and our children, already under the duress faced by flying with our young children, KLM would rather hold up antiquated values that shame women's bodies, Angel wrote.

KLM confirms breastfeeding policy

In an emailed statement to USA TODAY, a spokesperson for the airline Manel Vrijenhoek, said that although breastfeeding is allowed on their flights, not everyone is comfortable with it, which results in complaints to cabin staff. 

To keep the peace on board, in such cases we will try to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone and that shows respect for everyone's comfort and personal space, the statement read. This may involve a request to a mother to cover her breast.

Angel's post received an overwhelming amount of comments from fellow travelers saying they would boycott the airline for their behavior. 

Thanks for the heads up, will (definitely) not book with KLM, wrote one commenter.

But a few backed the airline's decision. I wouldn’t have any problem covering up, wrote another.  I breast fed both my children on planes under a light scarf or something similar. I understand that there are people in the world who object for religion reasons or otherwise. I am happy to go about my life doing what I want ( breastfeeding my child) but being considerate of others beliefs and cultures.


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