Woman goes viral with Delta open letter about breastfeeding


Fiza Pirani contributed to this story, which has been updated

Delta Air Lines' breastfeeding policy is again drawing notice — but this time with gratitude, after one woman's Facebook post thanking the company for, she said, its attendants' assistance with her breastfeeding during a Friday flight from Atlanta.

"Yesterday, two flight attendants, Kaitlin K and Loretta, on my flight from Atlanta to Dallas-Love Field, allowed me to sit in an empty first class seat for more space and privacy while I pumped in flight," a woman posting under Jenna Mde wrote on Delta's Facebook page Saturday. "They offered me snacks and provided TONS of water during my pumping session."

"Additionally, on my return flight this afternoon, the Dallas-Love Field gate attendant, Talesa, offered me an empty first-class seat so I could do the same," wrote Mde, who is a mom to triplets, according to her post.

Her story is in contrast to some earlier headlines about Delta and breastfeeding, as when the company apologized to a passenger in January 2015 after requiring she check her breast pump, or when it apologized in February 2014 after an employee mistakenly told a passenger she could not breastfeed on the plane without a covering.

Delta isn't alone: Multiple women nationwide say they have encountered push-back and negative reaction while breastfeeding in public.

"I am incredibly grateful for the lengths these individuals took to make my role as momma much easier and impressed by the advocacy this company has provided for breast-feeding and pumping," Mde wrote in her post.

Her story has been shared more than 2,700 times, and liked more than 43,000 times, attracting many positive comments. Mde, who requested not to be identified by her last name, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she wanted to share her story so that Delta and the employees could get their deserved recognition.

"I had no idea how fast and how far it would reach and the impact it would have on other mothers," she said. "Many have reached out to me saying that they were afraid to travel, not knowing how easy it would be to pump or feed their children."
But after reading her story, Mde said, the women say they now feel comfortable doing so.
She knew there were some stories about women not being able to breastfeed freely in public, but said in the many years she's been flying Delta, Made has had no issue or interference, she said.
"This post wasn't about my surprise for being allowed to pump, but about how these women went out of their way to make it easier for me," she said.

A Delta spokesman did not immediately have a comment for the AJC on Mde's post, but on Monday morning, the company replied to her directly in a Facebook comment.

"We are very happy to hear that Kaitlin and Loretta were able to be there for you when needed," Delta wrote. "We would love to recognize them and pass your kinds words along as we know they would be very touched and happy to know this."

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