Monday, August 22, 2011

The Breastfeeding Friendly Skies

I recently boarded a plane en route to a destination far, far away with my 15 month old strapped to my chest. Many people, when asked, might prefer an invasive medical procedure over flying for six hours with an active toddler. Josias and I are not going to win any popularity contests on a plane.

As we board the airbus, most people surreptitiously study my movements in hopes of divining where I might sit. I imagine that they are praying to their god that it's not by them.

We find our (middle) seat, and I smile and give a friendly hello to the woman next to me. She grunts in response and seems none too pleased to have us for neighbors. What she doesn't knowis that this mama is armed with a strategy: fly with a friend, fly when baby is sleeping, and most importantly, breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed!

I have had a few flights where I wanted to slip Josias an elixir to subdue him, but for the most part, this strategy has served us well.

As the engine starts and the safety video begins, a latecomer slips into the seat next to me. He smiles, says hello, and then says, "congratulations on breastfeeding your baby." We chatted a bit more, but mostly we minded our own business. Josias slept and breastfed throughout the entire six hours. At the end of the flight, I thanked him for being so nice, and he smiled. He probably has no idea how his few simple words left this travelin' mama feeling supported and so lucky to have her babe with her on a long flight.
We are honored to host a guest post today from Dena. Dena is a mama who works full-time outside the home. She stays attached to her son, Josias, through breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping, not to mention bringing him with her on cross-country work trips. Dena blogs about motherhood, yoga and green living at Earth Mama Yoga.


I flew to California a few months ago with my daughter (19 months at the time) and had a great experience too. Not a single meltdown and lots of nursing. I had one sweet older man, say something similar to me. He said it was a joy to sit next to us and that my daughter seemed like an amazing little girl. I was mentally prepared to battle with people and flight attendants but it was fine.

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