Amsterdam-based airline KLM have come under fire for telling a breastfeeding mum to ‘cover up’ in line with company policy.
A mum has taken to Facebook to share her anger after she was told by airline staff to ‘cover up’ while breastfeeding her twelve month old daughter on a flight.
Shelby Angel says that she refused to cover herself with a blanket when approached by airline staff despite KLM insisting that they acted in line with company policy.
A Lack Of Support
Shelby says she doubts that her experience is an isolated one, and believes that it could happen to any breastfeeding mum.
“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,” she wrote in her post.
“I was told that I needed to be respectful of people of other cultures and that this flight attendant’s response was in line with company policy.”
The airline’s response endorsed the right of women to breastfeed their children on board, but stressed the need for modesty.
“We would like to emphasise that breastfeeding is permitted on KLM flights,” they said in a statement.
“However we strive to ensure that all of our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board. Therefore, we may request a mother cover herself while breastfeeding should other passengers be offended by this.”
Out Of Line
Comments on the mum’s post said that the company’s policy would deter them from choosing to fly with the airline.
“I won’t fly with them until they change their policies purely out of support for all mums out there,” one person wrote.
“When will everybody understand that breastfeeding isn’t about breasts, it’s about feeding your child?” asked another.
We’re pretty sure that the majority of passengers wouldn’t have an issue with, or even notice, a mum breastfeeding their baby mid-flight – for those that do, the eye mask should come in handy!
Do you think mums should be asked to ‘cover up’ when breastfeeding during a flight? Share your thoughts in the comments.