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Breastfeeding moms stage "Nurse In" at BWI

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LAUREL, Md.  (WJLA) - More than 30 breastfeeding mothers staged a "Nurse In" at BWI Airport Wednesday morning.

Women prepare to breastfeed at a nurse-in Wednesday at BWI. (Photo: Jummy Olabanji)

"We just had to stand up for it because we knew it was wrong," said Hannah Butta, "Nurse-In" organizer.

The mothers came to the airport to breastfeed in support a friend, a Laurel MD woman, who recently felt some tension while trying to feed her baby on an American Airlines flight.

The woman, who asked not to be identified publicly, says on July 21st she was on a flight from Los Angeles to Dulles airport when her five month old became cranky and hungry. She says she turned in her window seat and started to breast feed her child with husband adding extra protection in the middle seat.

She says the problems started when a flight attendant asked her to cover her child with a blanket to not make any other passengers uncomfortable.

"When American Airlines asked our friend to cover up while she was breast feeding we knew that legally she was already given that right," explained Butta.

The woman wrote the airline to voice her concerns and got a response that said in part:

"...because of the offense that may me taken by others we simply ask that breast-feeding be done with certain discretion and a sense of modesty"

Tim Rhodes, American Airlines customer relations

All of the mothers who participated in Wednesday's "Nurse In" tell ABC7 they are very disappointed with the way that American Airlines handled the situation. 

"I nursed my child all the way up to six months and had we flown during that time I would have definitely done that," said Sophia McMaster. "I think even having a window seat and so forth and turning showed that you were being considerate of the other passengers, so the fact that they made a big deal out of it - I'm kind of disappointed in American."

American Airlines Facebook page has been inundated with comments from breastfeeding mothers around the world.

The mother at the center of it all says the airline wrote her back offering a free travel voucher, but all she wants is awareness and an apology.

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