09/08/2013 05:36 BST | Updated 09/08/2013 05:44 BST

American Airlines Apologises To Breastfeeding Mother Following 'Nurse In' Protest

American Airlines has apologised to a woman who complained that a flight attendant told her to 'cover up' while breastfeeding her child on a flight, following a 'nurse in'.


On Wednesday, The Daily Mail reported 30 mothers gathered together to breastfeed their babies as a protest to the incident and their breastfeeding policy, in front of the American Airlines ticketing counter at Baltimore–Washington International Airport.

Since the incident was publicised, the American Airlines Facebook page was flooded with comments from breastfeeding mothers around the world.


The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, alleges that she began breastfeeding her 5-month old son on a domestic flight. She was sitting in the window seat and her husband was in the middle seat, and she had positioned her son so that his head was towards the window.

The incident took place on 21 July, but it wasn't until her friend Hannah Butta posted on Facebook about the woman's experience that interest in the story grew.

hannah butta

On the Facebook post, the woman said: "A few minutes after my son started nursing, a stewardess walked by our row, shook her head at me and shot me a very displeased look," the mother says, per Butta's post. "A few minutes later, the same stewardess returned to our row, leaned over the girl in the aisle seat and told me (after a bit of hesitation as she couldn’t find her words) that I needed to put a blanket over my son 'because there are kids on this flight.'"

The bulk of the outrage however was aimed at American Airlines when it responded with the below letter, outlining its breastfeeding policy, which many bloggers and mothers felt was not acceptable. Others felt that while the policy may be in line with regulations, the situation could have been handled more sensitively.

Initially the airline responded by reiterating its breastfeeding policy below, which caused outrage among bloggers and mothers.

aa breastfeed

Some of the comments have also been around how such a policy is implemented. According to a blogger for Bustle, "[I]t sounds as if this mom was shamed by American's flight attendant, which is never appropriate. ... Let's hope that drawing some attention to this mom's experience will force American Airlines to rethink their outdated, offensive policy -- or at least how they communicate it to their customers."

The woman, who was also offered a free travel voucher, says all she wanted to do was raise awareness and receive an apology.

Here's an inspiring slideshow from HuffPost US, with mothers supporting other mothers:

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