Travelling on a Jetstar flight from Brisbane to Townsville on a 6am Monday flight, mother of three Natalie Jane Sawyer was shocked when she was asked to “cover up” by a female staff member while pumping breast milk.
On the airline’s Facebook page after the incident, Sawyer recounted the incident, before suggesting its time the airline look at retraining their staff.
“I was asked by one of your flight crew if I had a cover to cover myself up because people would be coming down the aisle to go to the bathroom,” Sawyer wrote.
Source: Jetstar / Facebook.
"I had a pumping bra on so no part of my boobs could be seen and a shirt covering my pumps.
"I began pumping as soon as all the passengers were seated and was almost finished pumping by the time the seat belt sign was turned off."
The image below, which Sawyer took while on board and pumping, is what airline staff had the problem with. A woman wearing a billowy top, with a hint of what appears to be a very un-sexy boob apparatus peeking out.
It's hardly what you'd call risqué.
Natalie Jane Sawyer's selfie. Source: Facebook
Sawyer, who sounds pretty reasonable given the circumstances, continued, "I personally don't have a problem with pumping in public, when you exclusively pump for 3 kids, you get used to it, but I know some people get a bit weirded out sitting right next to someone pumping so I am considerate."
The photo, Sawyer wrote, had been taken to send to her mum to share her pride at finally being comfortable enough to pump in public, but said that being spoken to as though she was doing "something dirty rather than something normal" by staff made her feel like she should "just go hide in the toilet."
"I think you might need to retrain your staff in my rights as a breastfeeding mother," she wrote.
Want to know five reasons why breastfeeding and pumping breast milk is awesome? Post continues after video... 3:59]
The post appears to have since been deleted, and a Jetstar spokesperson has said that the airline has contacted Sawyer in regards to the incident.
"We'll work with our crew and remind them of our breastfeeding policy to prevent this from happening to other mothers," the spokesperson said.
"We want all mothers to feel welcome and respected when breastfeeding onboard our flights and deeply regret the offence caused by our crew member's remarks."