Breastfeeding complaint goes viral

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Johannesburg – A social media post about a Joburg woman being discriminated against for breastfeeding during a flight has sparked a debate that has gone viral.

Last week, Dr Sarah Kate Hooper described her humiliation on board a Kulula Airlines flight from Lanseria to Durban. Her Facebook post has been shared more than 1 000 times and hundreds of people have commented on the issue.

File photo. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA
File photo. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Hooper, who had a window seat, wrote that when the plane took off she discreetly turned her body to face the window and breastfed the child. Her husband was seated next to her.

The air hostess came past and “loudly and patronisingly with a tone and look of disgust said: Won’t you just cover yourself up. I replied that I had the right to breastfeed and she raised her voice looking at all the surrounding passengers,(then) said to me yes, but you should cover up out of respect and consideration to your fellow passengers.”

Hooper was “humiliated, shocked and enraged”.

The airline has since contacted Hooper and promised to change its policies and train staff.

Hooper said on Tuesday that she was surprised and pleased about the response to her post, although some people had asked her whether she was being discreet when breastfeeding.

“And I think that’s just as crazy as asking a disabled person sitting on a plane if they’re being discreet about their disability.”

This week is World Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

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