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Nursing mother's carry-on breast pump creates conflict at Delta Airlines counter


A nursing mother who was required to check her breast pump during a Delta flight bound for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has gotten an apology from the airline. But not before the incident spurred a spate of negative social media comments for the airline.

CNN reported that Lauren Modeen ran into trouble when she was boarding her flight in Atlanta last week. Modeen's website says that she lives in Washington, D.C. and works as an engagement specialist for GovDelivery.

The Delta gate agents reportedly wouldn't allow Modeen to board the flight with her breast pump, which was packed in her carry-on suitcase. Modeen also had a handbag and a cooler with ice packs to transport her breast milk.

The agent told her that she needed to consolidate her luggage, even after Modeen says she told the agent the suitcase included a medical device.

Delta and other airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse. Airline policy also allows medical devices, strollers and certain other equipment.

A spokeswoman for Delta apologized. "Delta supports the rights of women to breastfeed," Delta spokeswoman Lindsay McDuff wrote in an email to CNN that clarified the airline's position. "Breastfeeding and breast pumps are permitted aboard any Delta flight and in Delta ground facilities."

Under the infant travel section of its website, Delta's policy mentions breast pumps are allowed on board.

Modeen has started a Facebook page to promote a mother's right to breastfeed on airplanes. Writing on the page, Modeen said there is a "...lack of education around women's rights to breastfeed or breast-pump while onboard an aircraft." She goes on to urge others to join her to "inspire airlines to publicly post their breastfeeding/breast-pumping friendly policies inside every airplane, in prominent view."

The Facebook page includes a link to the NursingInPublic website which details the breastfeeding policies of some of the nation's largest air carriers.

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