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Women are entitled to breastfeed in public under law

19 July 2019

Dutch airline KLM faced criticism Wednesday for policies that "shame women's bodies" after a breastfeeding mother said she was told to cover up in case other passengers were offended.

Sky News is reporting that KLM told Ms Angel the Flight Attendant's request was in line with company policy.

Dutch airline KLM has sparked a debate online after telling a customer it might ask mothers to cover themselves while breastfeeding. After starting to breastfeed, Ms Angel was approached by a flight attendant with a blanket who said, "if you want to continue doing the breastfeeding, you need to cover yourself".

She said she refused because her daughter does not like to be covered. "She then warned me that if anyone complained, it would be my issue to deal with", Angel wrote, urging breastfeeding mothers to not fly with KLM.

"Disappointing KLM! And a bit too easy to blame hypothetical foreign passengers. when no one has complained", the group said on its Facebook page. Although a handful of folks cheered on the airline for protecting their precious eyes from an extremely natural act, many more people around the world have weighed in to express their frustration over a policy that allows some random offended person to dictate how and when a mother can feed her hungry child.

"Despite a social movement where bikinis, low-cut tops, and skin-revealing attire are no longer classed as "indecent exposure", even less exposure, such as a mother discreetly breastfeeding in public, can be perceived as awkward, disrespectful, and uncomfortable", the study's authors write. In response to one tweet, they replied, "By no means is the mother obliged to cover up herself or her child".

"I've flown with KLM several times when breastfeeding and never had an issue", the user wrote.

She was informed that she needed to have respect for other cultures and the reaction of the flight attendant would be consistent with the guidelines of the Airline. However, the passengers on Board apparently had full understanding for Shelby's Situation, only the flight attendant had a Problem. However, not all passengers feel comfortable with breastfeeding in their vicinity and sometimes these passengers complain to the cabin staff.

"Delta fully supports a woman's right to breastfeed on board Delta and Delta Connection aircraft and in Delta facilities", Delta spokesman Michael Thomas said, adding that employees do not ask women to cover up.

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

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

Women are entitled to breastfeed in public under law