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Newport woman finds herself at center of breastfeeding flap

Lindsay Jaynes only wanted to fly to Florida with her newborn and sought out Delta's policy on nursing. She didn't expect what followed.

February 27, 2014|Emily Foxhall
  • Newport Beach resident Lindsay Jaynes has come into the spotlight after being misinformed by Delta airlines about the company's breastfeeding policy on board.
Newport Beach resident Lindsay Jaynes has come into the… (Courtesy Lindsay…)

One week ago, 30-year-old Lindsay Jaynes asked Delta Airlines a seemingly simple question: What is the company's on-board breastfeeding policy?

The new mother planned to buy a ticket from John Wayne Airport to Florida with her now 6-week-old son in March.

She wanted to be prepared for her baby's first trip and hoped to have a printed copy of the airline's policy when she boarded.

To Jaynes' surprise, the response from a Delta representative would soon launch her into the media spotlight, transforming the Newport Beach resident into an advocate for breastfeeding mothers far beyond Orange County.

In an exchange that occurred on Twitter, which can be viewed by anyone, a Delta representative wrote that Jaynes would not be able to breastfeed without a cover-up.

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Jaynes, using the Twitter handle "@ClassicHippie," expressed indignation. The flight would be six hours long, and her son needed to eat every two hours, she explained to the representative tweeting from "@DeltaAssist."

Her son had refused to nurse from a bottle or with a cover since he was born. When she had tried to use a cover, he would begin screaming and flailing.

"What do you suggest?" she asked the airline.

Delta Airlines eventually apologized for the misinformation via Twitter and a personal phone call.

"In a situation like this, if there's any sort of vagueness, we will make every effort to address it and make sure that it's cleared up," Delta spokesman Michael Thomas said Thursday. "We were fairly quick to respond and say that it was an unfortunate bit of misinformation, and that's exactly what it was."

The company posted a breastfeeding policy online Wednesday, expressing full support of women's right to breastfeed on Delta flights, but it made no specific mention of rules related to covering up.

Meanwhile, the damage had been done.

Media outlets seized on the story, with HLN, Fox, BBC and USA Today all chiming in with a story or post.

With her Twitter followers numbering 625 and growing Thursday afternoon, Jaynes also found herself inundated with comments online.

Some users expressed support, thanking her for defending babies' needs and contributing to the national conversation about breastfeeding. An all-natural vegan cookie company even offered to send her free lactation cookies, which were advertised as a way to help moms build breast milk.

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