Flight Attendant Berates Breastfeeding Mom for Pumping on Airplane

Say What!? 22

breastfeedingMoms, 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?


Image via Newtown Grafitti/Flickr



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youth... youthfulsoul

I wonder how the rest of us managed to get by breastfeeding without causing such a fuss everywhere we went. 

bills... billsfan1104

You know, I am kinda tired of people going public. The airline apologized, she accepted the apology, so why still make a stink about it?

lulou lulou

Yes, but have typically brought a single manual as I often have my laptop and carryon, and even though I can bring my big medela on too, its just more than I want to deal with.

Why Id be all for this mom generally, what I dont understand is the flight.  Mnsp to chicago is a pretty short flight and on often smaller planes, and that the issue might have been more with where she could sit vs the pump itself.  Yeah, I know it could have been delayed, sat on the tarmac, waiting for an oil change, all that.

nonmember avatar H's Mom

As a mom that had to exclusively pump for her baby, I'm glad people are standing up for their pumping rights. I pumped 8-12 times a day for the first 6 months, and I was essentially a prisoner in my own home because of it. I only responded to one type of pump, so a manual pump would not have worked. I'm happy for the other bfing moms who could get by with a manual pump or pumping at the airport. When you pump on a rigid schedule, like I did, if I didn't get going within 15 minutes of my regular time I would start leaking copiously. If I was on a plane the options would be to get it done or make a huge mess.

Eddie... EddiesMama83

If moms were more modest and descreet about it, I don't think it would be a problem. Unfortunately, some moms think it's their right to flash the world just because they're nursing. Whether you're nursing or not, cover up ladies!

nonmember avatar Pam

Seems to me the mom could have pumped before the 1 1/2 hour flight or let the stewardess know she was going to turn on the pump. A pump is not quiet, and although it's her right, doesn't seem necessary on a short flight. Nor does making a big stink about it after the airline apologized...it seems like the mother is mad that the stewardess "humiliated" her, so she's returning the favor... Not so classy.

Andre... Andreamom001

Obviously some people know little about pumping.  If a mom pumps or feeds on a certain schedule, then she needs to always pump at that time or she will become engorged, possibly start leaking, and possibly develop a blocked duct that could progress into mastitis.

I've never seen a mom deliberately remove her shirt to flash people while feeding her baby, either.  If you are afraid of catching a glimpse of a boob, look the other way. 

Babies have as much right to eat in public as anyone else, and moms have the right to pump if they need to.  Breastfeeding is not sexual.  Pumping is not sexual (it's actually a hassle and can be painful or irritating).  I am sure most pumping moms would prefer to do so in private...sometimes it just isn't possible.

Cristy Lee

Someone didn't read the article, her plane was diverted.

Rachael Hartzog Collins

To all the ignorant comments by all of you moms who probably didn't even attempt to breastfeed, why don't you guys mosy on over to another threat about, I dunno, something superficial and non-meaningful? I'm glad she stood up for something a lot of moms are probably going through. Pam, you're the one who is "not so classy"

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