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Caroline Hallemann
February 10, 2016

On a recent United Airlines flight, new mom Juliet Thomson was reportedly told to “cover up” while breastfeeding her baby after a fellow passenger complained.

"I had fed [Charlie] on the plane, and she fell soundly asleep on me," Thomson said in an interview with YouTuber Joey Salads. "My shirt wasn't completely buttoned up."

According to Thomson, the United flight attendant said, “Listen, I know it’s natural, but it’s offending this woman. So if you don’t mind covering up, it seems your baby is asleep now.”

Thomson complied after her fellow passenger, a woman in row in front of the new mom, started to cause a scene, yelling, "I made it clear that someone needs to tell the girl to cover up! It's disgusting that you would let something like this go on." When the plane landed, security spoke with Thomson about the incident, who reconfirmed her thought that there is no law prohibiting breastfeeding in public.

In reaction to the events, Thomson has started a social media campaign encouraging moms to boycott United with the hashtag #MomsDontFlyUnited, and she said she will "absolutely [be] taking legal action" against the airline. She also posted a letter “to the lady sitting in row 19a” on her Instagram account.

 

To the lady sitting in row 19a: I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry that you feel that life hasn't dealt with your correctly. I'm sorry that feelings of anger arise in you when you see my feeding my 4 month old daughter. I'm sorry you're disgusted and put off at my form of good parenting. I'm sorry for your husband, sitting next to you, covering his face in disbelief and embarrassment at your tiraids against me. Surely you haven't been on social media in a while. I'm sorry you can take something so natural and turn it into a sick and twisted perversion. I can be honest and say I'm also a bit sorry for myself. The embarrassment is showing, I'm red now and sweating. I've never been mocked publicly in front of my kids. Thankfully, their minds are so pure, so beautiful they don't understand statements like "she had better cover up now or else. I will never fly with united again. Turn and look at her, just look. It's disgusting." They look at me, they have no clue what you could possibly be talking about. I hope my little world, my kids, never understand things like your mind does. I hope they never judge openly without understanding. I hope they learn to look deeper. To see the new mom, young and nervous before every flight praying her baby will stay happy and not upset the other passengers. I hope they don't judge. Cause look where judging has gotten you. You're being escorted off a United airways flight. Not like Beyoncé, No. Like some crazy looney who can't tell her head from her ass. I'm sorry this offends you, but the well being of my daughter will always be more important to me then your thoughts and public shaming. I'm embarrassed yes, you successfully made me cover up, both stewards saw to that. But bitch, I'm still standing up on the inside and this is what we do for life. #breastfeedingmoms #normalizebreastfeeding #fuckyou #unitedairlines

A photo posted by Juliet Summer (@julseyjules) on

In response to the incident, United issued the following statement:

"Both United Airlines and Skywest Airlines, which operated the United Express flight, welcome moms nursing onboard our aircraft and instruct employees to do their best to see to those moms' comfort. Skywest is researching the circumstances of that flight to confirm whether the flight attendants efforts may have simply been to try to calm a difficult situation for Ms. Thomson."

In happier breastfeeding news, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jacson International Airport—the busiest in the U.S.—recently added private lactation stations in four different concourses.

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