Mother told to stop breastfeeding on Ryanair flight

Rachel Duffy was travelling with her seven-month-old son, Noah.
Rachel Duffy was travelling with her seven-month-old son, Noah. Photo credit: Caters News

A mother-of-two was left angry and embarrassed after she says she was told to stop breastfeeding her baby on a Ryanair flight. 

Rachel Duffy, 40, was flying from Portugal to the UK earlier this month when a cabin crew member ordered her to stop breastfeeding her seven-month-old and waited until she had done so before moving on.

"I got on the plane and sat down in the seat and strapped Noah in on my lap with the two seatbelt extensions provided," says Duffy.

"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 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.

Duffy said she was shocked, angry and embarrassed by the situation but continued to breastfeed during the rest of the flight, only to be told to stop again before landing.

PICS BY RACHEL DUFFY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED : Nathan, 14, and Noah, seven months, before their holiday to Portugal) - A mother-of-two was left angry and embarrassed after she says she was told to stop breastfeeding her baby on a Ryanair flight.Rachel Duffy, 40, had taken her seat on a flight from Faro Airport, Portugal, on May 15 when she encouraged her seven-month-old son, Noah, to latch onto her breast. The mother, from Barnsley, South Yorks, claims she had read online that having your child breastfeed during take off would help prevent his ears from popping, so decided to give it a go. Having successfully done so on her outbound Ryanair flight just 10 days prior, on May 5, from Manchester Airport to Faro Airport, Rachel presumed it wouldnt be a problem. - SEE CATERS COPY
Photo credit: Caters News

"It's left me incredibly anxious and nervous to fly again - and I won't be doing so with Ryanair."

Despite claiming she was told to stop breastfeeding during take-off and landing on her flight from Portugal to Manchester, Duffy claims she had no problem doing so on the outbound flight 10 days earlier.

"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."

Rachel was travelling with her two sons, Noah and Nathan, and her sister-in-law, Rachel Lay, who is 32 weeks pregnant.

Lay was also disgusted by what happened.

"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."

Lay said the steward stood and watched Rachel unlatch, not allowing for privacy or dignity.

"I'm 32 weeks pregnant and it's completely put me off breastfeeding in public - and I definitely won't be flying with Ryanair," Lay said.

In response to the story, a spokesperson for Ryanair simply said: "Breastfeeding mothers are very welcome onboard our flights."

Caters News

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