Mother-of-two, 40, says she was ‘left angry and embarrassed‘ after a Ryanair steward told her to stop breastfeeding her seven-month-old baby on a flight from Portugal to Manchester
A mother-of-two was left ‘angry and embarrassed‘ after she was ‘told to stop breastfeeding‘ her baby on a Ryanair flight.
Rachel Duffy, 40, was on a flight from Faro Airport, Portugal, on May 15 when she began feeding seven-month-old son, Noah.
The mother, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said she decided to nurse him at take-off because she read online it would help prevent Noah‘s ears from popping.
Ms Duffy said she was then approached by a steward who told her to stop and then ‘waited until she unlatched and redressed‘, despite having no problems while feeding him on the flight out to Portugal 10 days earlier.
She said: ‘I got on the plane and sat down in the seat and strapped Noah in on my lap with the two seatbelt extensions provided.
‘Noah was moaning so I latched him onto my breast as I had read that sucking would be good to stop his ears popping and it would stop him disrupting the rest of the flight.
‘Then 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.
The mother-of-two said Noah, pictured, was left crying while the steward waited for her to get redressed before leaving
‘The steward stood and watched while I struggled to sit my baby up – who started to cry – and continued to stand there until I had re-dressed myself.
‘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.
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‘It‘s left me incredibly anxious and nervous to fly again – and I won‘t be doing so with Ryanair.‘
Ms Duffy added: ‘When I flew to Portugal from Manchester, on a Ryanair flight, I was allowed to breastfeed during take-off and landing.
‘No one said anything to me, even when they were doing the seatbelt checks.
‘Alongside other people advising me to do so, that‘s why I assumed it would have been fine for me to feed on the flight home.
‘Luckily, for the rest of the flight from Portugal to Manchester, I was not told to stop breastfeeding – but I was told off again when the plane began to land.
‘It‘s made me very angry and others that I have spoken to are disgusted with Ryanair.
‘It made our flight very difficult and uncomfortable.‘
She was travelling with Noah and her older son Nathan, 14, as well as her sister-in-law, Rachel Hey, 34, who is 32 weeks pregnant.
Ms Hey said: ‘The whole thing was disgusting – there was no communication, the steward was just abrupt and said ‘no feeding‘.
‘There was no elaboration, apology or even notice that she would continue to feed during the flight.
‘The steward stood there and watched Rachel unlatch and there was no privacy or dignity.
‘The exact same happened on landing too – there was no compassion showed to a screaming, unsettled baby and a panicking mum.
‘I‘m 32 weeks pregnant and it‘s completely put me off breastfeeding in public – and I definitely won‘t be flying with Ryanair.‘
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: ‘Breastfeeding mothers are very welcome on board our flights.‘
MailOnline has approached Ryanair for further comment.