I Was Asked to Stop Breastfeeding at the YMCA
By Prairie Mama on July 19, 2011
I feel really lucky. I was never -- not once! -- asked to stop nursing in public. While I was kind of discrete, it was only because the act of nursing itself is kind of discrete. I mean, there's a baby head placed directly in front of my breast! You have to physically maneuver your head to get a glimpse of anything that qualifies as sexy.
Other moms have not been so lucky. I felt so discouraged when I read this post by Kim at Prairie Mama this morning. She was asked to stop nursing her baby at the YMCA pool. She was given a number of reasons as to why she wasn't "allowed" to do so, eventually landing on an excuse regarding bodily fluids. Thankfully, Kim knew the law was on her side and stood firm. She's now asking people to write (polite) letters to the YMCA. I plan on writing one myself!
Make sure to read her story and share your own.
I sat there watching my kids, talking to another Mom for about 5 minutes when the Swim Lesson Coordinator approached me. She informed me that I couldn't nurse in the pool. When I asked her why she said it was because it was making other people uncomfortable and children were around and could see it.
I looked at her, wondering if she really had just said that to me, and said, "So? Then it can be a teaching moment for those children. They can learn what breasts are intended for."
She also told me I was welcome to nurse on the deck of the pool or in the bathroom. I asked if she wanted to eat in the bathroom.
She then said, "Well, it is making other people uncomfortable. They didn't want to come tell you, and I can't tell you who it is to protect their privacy."
I replied, "Well, I'm sorry they are uncomfortable, but that is their issue not mine. The law states that I have the right to breastfeed anywhere I have the right to be. So, I am going to nurse my baby".
She then looked at me (I could tell she was not sure what to do since I wasn't ashamed and was not apologizing to her for doing with my breasts what nature intended) and said, "Ma'am, you need to leave the pool because it is against pool policy to have bodily fluids in the pool. If you got milk in the pool we would have to clear everyone out and decontaminate the pool."
Photo Credit: peterkaminski.
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