Breast-Pump Mom "Humiliated" By Flight Attendant, Barred From In-Flight Pumping

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An Indiana mom says she was "humiliated" last week on an American Airlines flight by a flight attendant who forbade her from using her breast pump.

Dawn Brahos, 38, says she was loudly reprimanded and barred from plugging in and pumping, despite having done so on two flights a week earlier.

Pump Mom

"It was humiliating. She kept saying I had to be mistaken, that it must have been a different airline," she said. "She was loud and cold and argumentative."

"At least a third of the people on the plane knew my business," she added of the treatment she received. "I could see them talking amongst themselves."

An American official later offered an apology to Brahos, clarifying that the airline does indeed allow breastfeeding moms to plug in pumps during flights:

"We apologize for the experience Ms. Brahos had on a recent flight. Our in-flight personnel are trained to handle these situations with professionalism and discretion."

"American does not have a policy prohibiting the use of breast pumps in-flight."

American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said Brahos should have been allowed to plug her Medela breast pump into the electrical outlet by her seat.

A different brand of pump would have required prior approval, she said.

Dawn Brahos said Thursday that she appreciated the apology but hopes AA can streamline its policy in the future and improve employee training.

"Pumping is already awkward and uncomfortable without having to worry about the individual discretion of whoever happens to be working that day," she said.

Brahos said she pumped under a blanket without anyone noticing on her AA from Chicago to San Diego April 13. Ditto her first April 17 return flight to Chicago.

In fact, staff even allowed her to use a galley outlet to pump not once but twice because the flight was diverted to Minneapolis because of a storm.

That bad weather led American to put Brahos and her husband up in a hotel and send them Chicago the next day, which is when the incident happened:

"I started it off being quiet and discreet, but the flight attendant wasn't discreet at all. She came back three times to my seat and was really loud about it."

"She was like, 'You absolutely cannot pump.' She was just dismissing any possibility. She got angry with me and then wasn't willing to give me her name."

The mother of three said she began feeling painfully engorged, and was reliant on the breast pump to relieve pressure and keep her milk supply flowing.

Breast-feeding her 1-year-old son Adrien is important to her, she said, since research shows breast-feeding aids in vision development and hers is bad.

She said she came forward with her story from the AA flight because she doesn't want another breastfeeding mom to go through the same thing.

What do you think? Has this sort of thing happened to you?


American is the worst for families! They once told Isabel she had to check Dante's diaper bag on a 9 hour flight to Santiago. No bottled milk, diapers, or wipes for an 18 month old on a 9 hour flight. Another gate agent overruled the first when Isabel started crying. Another example, not once, but twice they destroyed our stroller. The first, a baggage truck ran over our Bob stroller--so no stroller for the trip. American said they "do not take responsibility for child safety devices," that they destroy. The second, they broke the wheel off of a cheap stroller. Again, not responsible for child safety.


Stupid American Airlines!!!! Never flying on that line!!!!! I completely understand, I remember when I first had my son I would breast feed in the bathroom stall because I didn't want to "inconvenience" the dinners around us, *even though we were in a booth and I had a blanket*... I felt like I was doing something wrong... *like drugs in the bathroom....* Breast milk is the most nutritious source of food for babies and if people have issues... Well FCK U!!!!!! Get over it! it's the 21st century, 13 years into it... how long will it take for people to accept the fact that moms want what's best for their child... To all those who say "well I'm not against it just not in my face..." I'm not holding a gun against ur head... Walk away but never show ur damn face again around me!


prudish americans always think sex is involved!!


why should she have had to go to the bathroom to pump. She already stated she was going to do it under a blanket, which is alot more discreet than trying to wrangle a distracted one year old onto the breats. Also her flight had been delayed so she couldnt have stored enough flight for the one she was on, as she didnt know she was going to be on it. [For those of you who arent breatsfeeding moms -evryone who has commented so far Im guessing- breastfeeding isnt like turning on a tap, you cant just pump at any old time]. You do not know the particular situation of why she didnt just breast feed directly. I think this women needs a congratulations on continuing to suppply her 1 year old with breast milk and shame on the flight attendant for not showing some professionalism


I only ask because pumping at her seat is an inconvenience/annoyance to those arround her, and pumping in the bathroom would be an inconvenience to others that need to use it (the bathroom, not the pump).


Yeah she was pumping on a short flight , why? She could have done it in the bathroom.


How long was this flight? I absolutely understand that when they are full, they need to be pumped, otherwise it can be painful. But unless its a 10 hour flight, couldn't she plan ahead by pumping before the flight?

@ ForTheLesser

You are an idiot. If your are feel inconvenienced who cares. Babies have a right to eat and mothers have the right to feed them. Next time your are hungry please ask those around you if it would inconvenience them if you ate. She was not doing anything wrong. If you have a problem with breastfeeding or pumping then you need to deal with your hangups. For goodness sake she even covered herself with a blanket, what more do you want from her.

@ ForTheLesser

oh yes would you like to eat your dinner in the bathroom? Or have your food prepared in the bathroom? Having to pump or breastfeed in a bathroom is disgusting


Obviously, we're blaming the flt attendant, but its AA's fault. As with all jobs today, regular employees are overloaded with 1000's of rules, regs, requirements, & inhuman stressful pressure. The boss says "sign this" & you're responsible, but it’s too much info. If you mess up like this flt attendant, you get the blame, but the CEO still gets millions in bonuses. The reg employee gets the blame, & fired. The CEO should follow Harry's motto "The buck stops here!" Instead of cover your butt, burn the little guys.

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