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Is It OK to Breastfeed During Takeoff?

Is It OK to Breastfeed During Takeoff?
Jennifer Billock

A nursing mother was recently shamed for breastfeeding her child during takeoff and landing on a Ryanair flight after being told to stop with no explanation as to why, even though mothers have a right to breastfeed in public areas and she had breastfed her baby on a previous Ryanair flight 10 days earlier.

Some research shows that breastfeeding during takeoff and landing helps stop a baby’s ears from popping—something an English mother to a 7-month-old took into consideration when she attempted to breastfeed her child during takeoff and landing on a recent Ryanair flight. The mother, Rachel Duffy, had successfully breastfed her child on a Ryanair flight just ten days earlier, but this time it was not meant to be.

Duffy attempted to breastfeed during takeoff, but a flight attendant stopped her, with no explanation, and stood watching until she unlatched her now-crying child and fixed her clothing. The same thing happened when the flight was landing.

“The air steward came over and told me that I couldn’t feed my son, which was shocking as I had been fine on the Ryanair flight just 10 days earlier,” Duffy told Yahoo. “I was really shocked, angry and embarrassed by the situation—I continued to breastfeed during the rest of the flight, but I was told to stop again before landing.”

Duffy was mystified by the rule—especially since the flight attendants on her previous Ryanair flight had no problem with it. Ryanair released a statement about the incident that didn’t really explain much, either, stating only, “Breastfeeding mothers are very welcome on board our flights.”


[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (12)


  1. Worcester

    June 1, 2019 at 9:38 am

    How bloody stupid. Much better the child is fed and not crying. What an earth was the crew thinking???

  2. gspurr

    June 1, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Unless it is somehow a safety issue in how the baby is to be held on take-off and landing a mother should be allowed to breastfeed.

  3. HomerJay

    June 1, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Don’t be mystified. Take-off and landing rules have to do with emergency preparedness and making sure that there will be no unnecessary impediments in the event the plane must be evacuated. That’s why seatbacks and tray tables have to be in a full upright position. So that those behind you or in the window and middle seat won’t be impeded if they try to exit the plane.

    And that’s why – especially if the woman has an aisle seat – they can request that she not breastfeed during the critical first and final moments of flight.

    It’s not a big deal to mansplaining me, but if the flight crew feels it’s a safety issue, do what they tell you and let it go.

  4. FullFare

    June 1, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Flight attendant with a control problem. Possibly didn’t get the breast herself in her earlier years.

  5. roberino

    June 2, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Is this really that difficult to understand? Breastfeeding on a plane is fine. Breastfeeding during takeoff and landing isn’t. A lap infant should be upright and facing the front to avoid serious injury to the spine in case of a jolt. Unless you have very unfortunate breasts then that isn’t possible with the infant in a safe position.

  6. edgewood49

    June 2, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Oh for heavens sake is this the best you can blog about ?

  7. sch7458

    June 2, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Why not? As long as the baby is kept shut up, that’s the best for everyone.

  8. spin2nd

    June 2, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Hell yes it is. Worked wonders for both of my kids…if you want to hear them scream instead of being fed then I question your judgement.

  9. Gigantor

    June 2, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Is It OK to Breastfeed During Takeoff?

    Not if the recipient of the milk is an adult…. :O

  10. ride red

    June 3, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I fully support breastfeeding during takeoff, but my personal preference is a glass of champagne.

  11. Mtothe M

    June 4, 2019 at 5:13 am

    HomerJay has it perfectly correct – and as you can see, nobody has bothered to directly refute what he said. Instead, it’s just been more whining about “bad” flight stewards, when in fact they were 100% correct.

  12. zitsky

    June 4, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Was this a safety issue? We don’t know. Did they try to stop her breastfeeding during other parts of the flight?

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