THE BLOG
11/21/2006 04:44 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

My Tits and My Toddler Fly the UNfriendly Skies

For the second time in less than a week I will board a now infamous Delta partner flight and lift up my shirt. Some passengers will turn away in disgust. Some passengers will nod in approval. Some passengers will do a double take in the hopes of seeing some action. And while I breastfeed, some passengers will dare to tell my daughter to eat her meal in the toilet.

In the end, it's not the passengers I worry about- I can handle those of you sitting alongside me in coach. I'm wondering if the power hungry flight attendants will see my breasts as a threat to national security or a disruption to the carrier. Will I, or won't I, be allowed to feed my 19-month old on a plane? Just what exactly is Delta's position on public breastfeeding?

Delta, and its subsidiary Freedom, are backing off their "use your own discretion" policy after a mother did just that. Instead of quieting the storm they ended up with millions of pissed off nursing mothers (this one included). Those of us encouraged by massive government ad campaigns. Those of us encouraged by pediatricians, the World Health Organization, and every other sane person on the planet to breastfeed our children. Yet here we are, doing what is best, and because it gives someone the willies, we and our families are escorted off airplanes. Let us not forget you may be sitting next to Barbara Walters, and she would rather you use a bottle.

Freedom Airlines has revised its initial stance on the boob that rocked an airline incident. I think they are apologizing, but I'm still not sure. When I fly tomorrow, do I have to use a blanket? You know, the ones they leave on the seats for you, used and smelly from the passenger before you. Do I have to make some sort of attempt to cover the top part of my tit? The bottom part? What about the side...can I show the side of my boob? What if my daughter falls asleep and unlatches from my nipple, and there is a half second before I can pull my shirt to cover? Will I get kicked off the plane? What if I open my bra and lift my shirt in anticipation of her feeding, yet she gets distracted by the wonderful smell of airplane snacks and leaves me hanging out? Will they make me parachute out over the next major city, or can I just leave my tits in the wind while I wait for her to turn back around? What if the one guy, three rows ahead on the right, gets all uppity about my nursing? Does he get to ask I be removed?

I'm curious as to why those of you squeamish types can't seem to handle a little boob. Is it because you want it to stay stuffed in a Victoria Secret bra instead of in a baby's mouth? Does it make you uncomfortable to see what God clearly intended as man's plaything and not a tool of nutrition used in such a vulgar manner?
Now that my daughter is verbal, she can publicly demand to nurse and lift my shirt.
I give it to her.
Tomorrow I will give it to her on two Delta flights.
Go ahead, cringe. No one can see you.
I know many of you are all pro-breastfeeding until the child can ask for it. Maybe it's the age of the children you see breastfeeding that bothers you. If the best you can come up with is "it makes me uncomfortable" sounds like YOUR problem, not mine.
So I'm just asking here, out loud-what is your problem? I'm doing what the WORLD agrees is FANTASTIC for my child.
Tell me.
Better yet...tell her.
...and it's a good thing I don't simultaneously pray and breastfeed. Then you know I'm getting kicked off for sure.