Airlines: consider breast pump/milk as a medical device

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I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on August 1, 2017. Like many American moms, I returned to work after 6 weeks leave (and my job requires air travel). I did not want to compromise my job or breastfeeding my daughter, so I wanted to do my best to make both work! I quickly realized with American Airlines and Southwest that this would be difficult because a breast pump and milk is not viewed as "medically necessary" by these companies.

I want this petition to change their minds and allow breastfeeding moms to bring on their medical device in addition to their carry on and personal item...because being a working, breastfeeding mom away from her baby is difficult as is. It is distasteful to profit from a breastfeeding mother because we are not traveling with our babies.

Here are some facts about the legitimate MEDICAL benefits of breast milk:

  • Breast milk boosts the baby's immune system, fighting various infections.
  • Breast milk reduces the risk of disease for the baby later in life.
  • Breast milk can be used to treat many ailments (skin rash/cuts, cradle cap, eye infections..)
  • Breastfeeding can reduce the mother's risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer. 
  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS.
  • If a mother is unable to pump or breastfeed, she risks becoming engorged which can lead to mastitis. Mastitis can cause symptoms such as an ill feeling, fever of 101+, pain/burning sensation in breast.

Please sign this petition to encourage airlines to include breast pumps & breast milk in their list of medical devices not counted as a passenger's 2 item limit. And for the airlines that claim to recognize breast pumps as medical devices, please do regular sensitivity trainings so your employees no longer misinform mothers carrying these devices. Thank you for supporting new mom's ambitions to breastfeed and have a career/travel!



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