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.

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  • “Permitted” !!!! to breastfeed?! Oh, so you’re giving a parent permission to feed their child?

    Reply


  • She should be allowed to do as she wishes. People shouldn’t be staring anyway.


    • I agree.
      And isn’t the baby covering up the nipple ? Not much to see when breastfeeding



      • And with the right type of clothing you don’t need to throw a cloth over baby

    Reply


  • Flying with a young one would be hard enough let alone being told to cover up when you are feeding them.

    Reply


  • I was unable to breastfeed, but I believe if this Mum felt it was the best and easiest place to breastfeed her baby, she should be allowed to.

    Reply


  • Flying with a baby is tough. For the other passengers too!

    Reply


  • I know that some airlines will actually ask the Mum if she would like to move to a quieter area of the plane to feed her baby even if being fed with formula. I know a Mum who was having trouble settling her baby on a long flight. One of the flight attendants took the baby and managed to re-settle him. They took him back to his Mum an hour or so later….sound asleep. She was so grateful as it gave her a break and other passengers some peace and quiet.

    Reply


  • I’ve seen Mums breastfeeding their bubs and to me it just looked like the baby was sleeping while being cuddled. If it embarrasses anyone then look the other way people.

    Reply


  • Its not hard to look away and surely no one would actually be staring at a baby being fed, or the mother parading around. Perhaps if it is an issue, they need to add in parent rooms on the plane for feeding and changing babies.

    Reply


  • I agree with sars.angelchik and musicmum – I too fed my children when they were hungry and I was out in public, but I never showed my breasts either. My personal modesty would not allow that to happen and baby was breastfed with no one knowing and baby felt much better afterwards. To my mind there is no need to show all and sundry what you look like with large overflowing breasts.

    Reply


  • I think you can partially cover up and give the baby some privacy but not because it may offend other people, but then it is a hard call because so many religious people are offended, so in principal I don’t agree with having to hide it but in practical terms I think it is easier in public places.

    Reply


  • Seriously? I breast fed both of my kids and never had my breasts on display in public even one time! It’s really not hard people – you can even buy breast feeding covers which is what I used. Not everyone wants to see your engorged breasts about ready to explode with milk. Be respectful of others. I wouldn’t want anyone to see mine regardless!

    Reply


  • When baby is hungry, baby is hungry! Would they rather that she not feed the baby and let it scream …. or worse …. Shame KLM!

    Reply


  • Well, the baby was hungry !!!

    Reply


  • I wonder if in our lifetime breastfeeding might actually be seen a natural part of life, its so frustrating that it is seen as something that needs to be hidden

    Reply


  • No mums shouldn’t be asked to cover up. Breastfeeding is normal, covering up is abnormal

    Reply

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