Mom Escorted Off Plane for Using a Sling While Breastfeeding (VIDEO)

A mom says she was kicked off an airline and almost arrested after she was told to stop breastfeeding and wouldn't. Virginie Rutgers, from Sydney, Australia, was flying Virgin Australia and had her baby feeding in his sling when she was told to stop feeding her baby, the mom says. After things between the mom and staff became heated, the plane taxied back to the gate and the mom was escorted off.


Rutgers was breastfeeding her 10-month-old son while he was in his sling when she says a steward came over and asked her to strap the baby in with the infant safety strap provided by the airline. She says she was confused as to why the sling wasn't good enough and a back and forth ensued and she was then forced off the plane. She told Seven News:

I was in a state of shock and he was screaming because I couldn't feed him anymore.

Rutgers wasn't charged, but was left stranded and eventually had to catch a flight on another airline.

Virgin Australia has defended itself, saying it welcomes breastfeeding on airlines, but stressed that new moms must follow the rules for safety. Virgin says this mom didn't get in trouble for breastfeeding, which it allows during takeoff and landing, but because she refused to put on the baby's seatbelt. The mom, for her part, says she didn't understand why the sling wasn't enough and that when she asked, she got yelled at for her pains.

Sounds like a bit of a case of mom said/airline said. It's understandable that new moms are nervous, especially on a flight, and want to keep their baby happy and quiet for other passengers. It's also understandable that that incredible new bond you develop means you'll be reluctant to pry your tot from your boob for even half a second -- but, hey, this is an airline. It can crash and all that stuff.

Moms need to realize that safety is important and airlines probably know what is safer than your baby when it comes to a plane than you do.

More from The Stir: Flight Attendant Berates Breastfeeding Mom for Pumping on Airplane

On the other hand, airlines aren't exactly angels either. We've heard quite a few stories about new moms not being treated well on planes. They need to use some sensitivity with moms who are feeding.

Moms posting on Virgin Australia's Facebook page have many good things to say about the airline's treatment of them when they were feeding, so hopefully this was just an anomalie.

Have you ever had an issue with feeding on a plane?


Image via Seven News

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