LONDON – Dutch airline KLM faced sharp criticism on Wednesday for its “antiquated values” after cabin crew told a breastfeeding woman to cover herself up to spare the blushes of other passengers.
Women’s rights campaigners reacted angrily when KLM confirmed the policy on social media, saying the company was playing into stigma and mothers should never be shamed for feeding their children.
“Negative attitudes about breastfeeding in public stem from the over-sexualisation of women’s bodies,” said Niki Kandirikirira from the advocacy group Equality Now.
“Breastfeeding is a totally natural process and women should have the freedom to do it wherever and whenever they want, rather than being forced to hide as if they are doing something inappropriate.”
The World Health Organisation recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for their first six months, then have a diet of breast milk and other food until they are two years old.