A Fredericton mother is speaking out after a lifeguard asked her to stop breastfeeding her baby daughter at the city’s indoor public pool.
Caroline Griffith said her 10-month-old was hungry and there were only a few people at the pool, so she discreetly began to nurse her daughter.
She said that’s when a young female lifeguard told her she was not allowed to breastfeed in the pool and would have to leave.
Get the full story via Fredericton mom told to stop breastfeeding at public pool – New Brunswick – CBC News.
I’ve heard lots of reasons why this mother shouldn’t have been nursing her baby in the pool: the water is dirty, it’s a hazard to the baby; breastmilk is a biohazard, it’s dangerous to everybody else; you need to wait 30 minutes before swimming; why can’t you just get out of the pool?; she’s just trying to prove a point; etc.
Would there really be such outrage if a woman were giving her baby a bottle while she was in the pool? What about if she gave her toddler a sip of juice from a juice box? Some might question it, but they wouldn’t respond with outrageous disgust.
The more people complain about these sorts of incidences, the more it becomes clear that people just don’t understand how the nursing relationship works. It’s just second nature to most mums and babies. Getting out of the water just to give a nursling a quick nip? Why?
I think the answer lies more in the manager’s assertions that her breastfeeding was making everybody else uncomfortable. It’s just a basic Nursing in Public issue: just because someone is uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding, a woman shouldn’t feed her baby in plain sight.
(also, to answer the to the aforementioned questions that shouldn’t really need answering: the pool water may be dirty, but the baby is swallowing it the entire time she is in the pool, probably less is being consumed when she is latched on and breastfeeding; breast milk is not a biohazard and poses no risk to anyone else in the pool; waiting to swim 30 minutes after eating is a myth; there are many reasons a mother may not just get out of the pool; she’s not trying to make a point, she’s just trying to feed her baby.)