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The YMCA is not breastfeeding friendly

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Here is a copy of the email I sent to the Y regarding my experience last weekend. I'm organizing a nurse in, any thoughts?



Hello Tina, 

I wanted to touch base with you about an experience I had last weekend at the Hudson YMCA location. When I dropped my children ( the youngest of whom is 18 months) off at 'Kids Stuff' last Sunday, my son wanted to nurse before I left him. I asked the staff if I could come into Kid Stuff and use the glider rocker in the corner of the room to do so. She told me that the YMCA didn't allow mothers to nurse in public area and that I needed to go to the family locker room and use a changing room to nurse him privately. When I asked her why, she said that there had been complaints because, "some people don't want to see that." I, as well as many others in our community are angered and disappointed by the YMCA's policy on this, especially being that the Y promotes families and family building activities in a considerable portion of it's marketing. Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest and essential mechanisms for mother/child bonding as well as infant and early childhood nutrition.
The legal statute in Wisconsin is as follows:

SECTION 1. 253.16 of the statutes is created to read:
253.16 Right to breast−feed. A mother may breast−feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breast−feeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breast−feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast−feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast−feeding her child as provided in this section.


Being that it is unlawful to limit a nursing mother's right to breastfeed where ever she deems appropriate in a public space, I expect that the YMCA will change it's current policy. I look forward to hearing from you. 

*end email*
Are any of you in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area? If so, are you up for a nurse in? 
post #2 of 4

tjlucca, I'm so sorry to read about what happened to you. Your letter is excellent!


There was a similar incident in Massachusetts a few years back:


and also, I believe, one in Texas. I'll try to find a link about that one.


I hope the YMCA responds swiftly to your letter. Please keep us posted!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I got a response to day from the program director, even though she is on vacation until next week. She apologized and said that she had personally spoken with all of her staff and that the YMCA intended to follow Wisconsin's laws regarding Breastfeeding. Yay!! That was easier than I expected. 

post #4 of 4

Stories like your's aren't uncommon when it comes to the YMCA, which is a shame since it's an organization for families.

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