Yet another negative incident this week regarding breastfeeding in public: a Texas Mom was breastfeeding her baby when she was asked to leave the YMCA pool while her kids played in the water nearby. Kim Borchert decided to breastfeed her hungry newborn in the pool so that she wouldn’t have to make her kids get out of the water while they found a place to sit and nurse.
Just this past weekend a mom was asked to leave an American Girl store in NYC while she tried to breastfeed her baby in a sitting area despite laws stating she had a right to nurse her baby there.
Kim wrote on her blog,
“Now, I would have preferred to sit in a comfy lounge chair but that would have required getting Libby out of the pool. So, since I can nurse discreetly, and my torso wasn’t in the water, I decided to sit on the step and nurse him. Full disclosure – I had on a Maternity Tankini, so everything but a part of my side were covered. There was no breast showing at all. In fact, some Moms were showing more skin than I was.”
She said a lifeguard approached her after about five minutes and asked her stop breastfeeding in the pool because it was making others uncomfortable, and that it is against pool policy to have bodily fluids in the pool if any of her milk were to get into the water.
Kim stood her ground, explaining her rights and the law for quite some time, but ultimately removed herself and her children from the pool so she could avoid a scene.
Personally, I am appalled at how common it still seems that breastfeeding in public is not viewed as OK to most, and I hate that we live in a time when it is not viewed as natural and NORMAL. And also that anyone would prefer to ask a mother with a newborn to stop breastfeeding because they found it uncomfortable instead of just looking away. Put yourself in the mother’s shoes (or sandals, in this matter!) for once.
I have to wonder how does the YMCA keep kids’ snotty noses from running into the pool, or kids (and adults) from peeing? Isn’t that why they put so many chemicals in the pool anyway? And, as Kim writes, any pregnant or nursing mama is going to leak at some point whether there is a baby around or not. Are they banned from swimming?
Now, I can totally see why illegal acts and certain bodily fluids do not belong in a public pool, such as the story of the couple who were arrested this week for having sex in a public pool with children present. Um, OMG. Thankfully, “municipal workers added additional chemicals to the pool and recycled its water.”
Breastfeeding your baby? Not the same thing.
Hat tip to Meagan Francis for the “pool intercourse” story.
How do they do it? Real moms on their experiences while breastfeeding