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#1 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is shameful!

Mother fights for the right to nurse in pool

Amanda + Steven SAHM to James (Feb 19, 2008) and Alexander (Jan 7, 2011). Lost little ones always in my heart (07/11/2009) (04/2010)
 
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#2 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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Our local pool has a no food policy in the pool and surrounding area. This includes breastfeeding and bottle feeding. That seems reasonable to me.

Anywhere else in the building it's fine, if I'm in the cafe I have usually been offered a glass of water.
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#3 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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I have definitely been bummed before at having to leave a fun conversation to go nurse, so I get that this mama wanted to stay where she was to nurse. I also think people get a little nutty about seeing some skin or that "breastmilk in the pool would foul the water" as the one comment said

That being said, I wouldn't have nursed on the pool steps because I have large breasts and pulling one out of my swimsuit would have been too much (pun intended) even for me! I do NIP all the time though...

The security detail to guard the pool was over the top IMO. The pool manager could have avoided that by just having a conversation with the other woman I would hope. But maybe all the parties involved were just too worked up by that point :
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#4 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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"I believe in breastfeeding, just not in the pool," says pool owner Karkouti, 39, who is 17 weeks pregnant with her first child.
If she breast feeds I bet she sings a different tune later,.. Just about nursing mama rights in general.

Though I dont think having to be out of the pool was a huge deal. Nursing on the side seems okay.

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#5 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 06:37 PM
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For some reason, I can stay reasonable, calm and write coherently about these things when they happen in other places, but when they happen in MY CITY it makes me

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#6 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Here's my general litmus test for whether or not it's OK to nurse somewhere: Would it be OK to bottlefeed in the same exact situation? I don't have a problem restricting breastfeeding in a "no foods or beverages" zone.

I wouldn't breastfeed in court because I wouldn't bring a child there anyway (though I would and have breastfed in the court building; just not while facing the judge.) I wouldn't breastfeed in a men's room as I would have no reason to go in there. And I woudn't breastfeed IN a pool because I wouldn't feed a baby or toddler in there, even if it was from a bottle or sippy cup. I'd get out and sit on a chair next to the pool watching my older kids swim, or cross-legged style on the pool deck right by the edge of the pool. I don't see why she couldn't have done that and still chatted with her friends in the water.

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#7 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I'd get out and sit on a chair next to the pool watching my older kids swim, or cross-legged style on the pool deck right by the edge of the pool. I don't see why she couldn't have done that and still chatted with her friends in the water.
She COULD have, but the question is, should she be forced to? I COULD always go out to my car or in to a bathroom or use a cover to nurse my child, but I don't want to, and no one should have the right to make me.

Sitting on the steps of a pool, with her torso out of the water, I really don't see the problem, whether or not it's the choice I would have made.
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#8 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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I was discussing this somewhere else and it just got NASTY.

I think this wasn't about no food or drink, we got a little background and first she was told to "do that" in the changeroom....then of course, the policies get trotted out rather conveniently. This is why they're considering taking it to the human rights tribunal. It was about her BF in public and the complainant's discomfort with it.

I just left my final thought on it somewhere else and expect to get flamed for it.

For me though, I'd never nurse in a pool because I think pools are yucky. And I make sure to rinse off the girls REALLY well before I nurse again.
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#9 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post
Our local pool has a no food policy in the pool and surrounding area. This includes breastfeeding and bottle feeding. That seems reasonable to me.

Anywhere else in the building it's fine, if I'm in the cafe I have usually been offered a glass of water.
This is the policy here as well and it seems fair.
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#10 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 08:16 PM
 
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I nurse in the pool all the time. My lil one falls asleep on the breast in the pool all the time. what's the big deal. I had her nursing and sleeping in the pool at a disney resort, right in front of all of the life guards. I had her in a wrap, nursing, completely asleep floating in the water. She used to take her nap in the pool with me while DD#1 was having her swimming lesson. Kids put swimming pool water in their mouths all the time, a few drops of swimming pool water while getting latched on isn't going to hurt anyone.
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#11 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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I nurse in the pool all the time. My lil one falls asleep on the breast in the pool all the time. what's the big deal. I had her nursing and sleeping in the pool at a disney resort, right in front of all of the life guards. I had her in a wrap, nursing, completely asleep floating in the water. She used to take her nap in the pool with me while DD#1 was having her swimming lesson. Kids put swimming pool water in their mouths all the time, a few drops of swimming pool water while getting latched on isn't going to hurt anyone.
Good point! My DD leaves the pool burping!!! So I guess she might be getting a drink or two from the pool.

Now that you mention it, having them fall asleep while floating actually sounds really nice. Kind of like lunch and spa at the same time!
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#12 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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The no food or drink policy is reasonable...provided they apply that to bottlefeeding also. However, in reality....if the mother is nursing her child, less milk is going to end up in the pool anyway. We leak, after all.
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#13 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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#14 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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That was my thought as well. I'm sure numerous lactating women have let-down in pools across the lands.
I get the no food/drink rule when it comes to things like crumbs, juice, etc. But, as we know, breastmilk has antibacterial properties! Very weak arguement to use that policy as a reason to ask a nursing mum to leave the pool.
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#15 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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I get the no food/drink rule when it comes to things like crumbs, juice, etc. But, as we know, breastmilk has antibacterial properties! Very weak arguement to use that policy as a reason to ask a nursing mum to leave the pool.

So if you allow breastfeeding moms to feed their babies in the pool what about those who feed with bottles, whether it be formula or pumped breastmilk (since there would be no way to tell when already in a bottle) - if you allow one you have to allow the other.
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#16 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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In Canada, moms have the right to breastfeed anywhere they are allowed to be.

Kelly , mama to 4yo and 1yo ,
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#17 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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I'm not really sure you would have to. My point was that breastmilk gets in pool water. Breastfeeding a child in the pool, and the chances that a little will get in the pool, should not be that big a deal.
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#18 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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In Canada, moms have the right to breastfeed anywhere they are allowed to be.
Yes, thankfully. However, this incident happened in Ontario. It didn't seem to help her when she needed it.
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#19 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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a couple things:

1) Kids/babies will drink the pool water regardless, so I don't think it's a big deal if there is a bit on the breast. I was swimming with DS last night and he tried to lick the water, so I really didn't mind feeding him before I was showered and dried off! (I didn't in the actual pool though, he wasn't hungry until he came out.)

2) Unlike other food and drinks, bm won't leave crumbs and there is no risk of the container breaking or disintegrating in the water, which would be a health risk.

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#20 of 272 Old 11-12-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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So if you allow breastfeeding moms to feed their babies in the pool what about those who feed with bottles, whether it be formula or pumped breastmilk (since there would be no way to tell when already in a bottle) - if you allow one you have to allow the other.
I disagree. The point behind banning drinks and foods in pools is that if they spill into the water, it could be an inconvenience/costly cleanup. It is possible (although unlikely) that bottled formula or breastmilk could be spilled into the pool, so that makes it similar to other beverages. It is NOT possible that breastmilk could be spilled into the pool, as it's not in a cup of any sort.

The point has been made that it is possible a miniscule amount of breastmilk (ie. a couple of drops) could mix into the pool water. However, the antibacterial properties of breastmilk combined with the pool treatment chemicals make it exceedingly unlikely that this type of bodily fluid could ever pose any harm to any pool-goer. Furthermore, if that was the issue, government officials would have to ban all lactating women from all pools (baby along or not) as some women leak when thinking about their babies, when in warm water, or just any ol' time!

The pool owner's comments about protecting the baby from dirty pool water were foolish. She clearly hasn't read any public health research on swimming pools and breastfeeding (there was excellent information from an Edmonton, Alberta study a few years ago). Just because she wouldn't feel it's clean enough to breastfeed a child in a pool doesn't mean she has any place ordering the mother out of the pool on the pretense of the best interests of the child.

That the pool owner suggested the mother use the change room as one alternate location shows that underneath it all, she was uncomfortable with the situation, paranoid about what other patrons might think, and trying to hide the nursing mother. If it was simply a food in pool public health issue, she wouldn't have needed to suggest the change room. If a kid had been on the deck with a bag of chips, she wouldn't have said, "You may go eat those in the change room". She simply would have instructed that the food consumption was not allowed around the pool and left it up to the munching kid (& accompanying parent) to choose a suitable alternate location.

I hope the Ontario Human Rights Commission reprimands the pool owner in a resounding manner. To read all the ridiculous comments on other blogs and newsites, it's clear there is still a lot of public education to do about breastfeeding! :

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#21 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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I've nursed Bear while in the pool, it was fantastic. The local water park has a lazy river thing where you float down a fake river on an inner tube and my 9 month old (at the time) wanted to nurse. It was the most relaxing comfortable nursing session I've ever had. I'm not sure he will ever be able to top that for the rest of his life LOL! Anyway, what is the point of putting chlorine in the water if not to kill germs. If they aren't worried about everyone who might have an open wound going in a pool than its just silly. Are they going to start tersting for AIDS and hepatitus everytime someone wants to go for a swim? Not likely.

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#22 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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In Canada, moms have the right to breastfeed anywhere they are allowed to be.
I be wrong but the article said it was a private pool not a municipal one or YMCA. Does this apply to private clubs as well as public ones?

Also we have the right in Ontario to go topless
WHOO...

I personally think she should have stepped out of the pool. I forgot what human soup is in a pool...from the sounds of the urine, pubic hair, etc... feeding a baby in a pool seems as hygenic as feeding in a bathroom stall.
Maybe the owner should have educated her on that fact not asked her to step out...

Would a baby spitting up in the pool constitute a pool "fouling" ?
*not that an 18 month old would spit up likely...mind you my 3 month old can spit up anytime anywhere even if fed hours before..

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Mrs. Karkouti pointed to a sign above the pool that states no food or drink is allowed in pool area. Pool regulations also do not allow glass bottles on the pool deck.
but I got milk on tap I always have food stuck to the front of me!

8 might be enough
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#23 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 04:32 AM
 
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It's an hour long video, go to 19:36 and that's where the story on this is.

http://www.cbc.ca/video/popup.html?h...ix/toronto.asx

I wonder when the comparisons between breastmilk and urine/feces will stop. But then it begs the question...how come during this story she's not comparing it to other food? Wasn't it the food/drink policy she was focused on before? Hmmmmmm.
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#24 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 04:52 AM
 
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I wonder when the comparisons between breastmilk and urine/feces will stop.

:
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I have breastfed my baby in the public pool. I figured, I was letting him swim in the water and well... drink some of it anyway. Also, I figured he was peeing in the water so how could I contaminate it further?

It was relaxing and nice... it was a warmed pool with jets and a bench. We were quickly asked to leave the pool to nurse... but only asked to sit up on the deck. They said it was their no food and drink policy. I was cool with it.

But later a friend we knew that worked there ran into us and realized..."That nut breastfeeding in the pool was you?" So I guess they thought it was pretty crazy.

I am also in Canada - Nova Scotia. I didn't really think it was a big deal - it was the only time I was ever asked to nurse elsewhere - and I did.

At the same time, I wasn't asked to go out of sight or anything.

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#26 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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I can see if the pool owners just didn't want to have to deal with someone demanding they be allowed to feed their children from a bottle or sippy cup in the pool because someone was breastfeeding, and if you allow one you have to allow the other. Many will do that just to make a point.

I think if they told the mother that was the reason in the first place, she probably would have understood and gotten out of the pool and they wouldn't have been insulting her. They could have explained that people will do it, and then it costs them so much to have to clean it all up, they may have to pay fines for allowing food and drink in the pool as it goes against the health regulations etc.
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#27 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Would a baby spitting up in the pool constitute a pool "fouling" ?
*not that an 18 month old would spit up likely...mind you my 3 month old can spit up anytime anywhere even if fed hours before..
To answer this question: yes. It would be "fouling". At our pool there is a smaller, warmer second pool that is separate from the main pool (I think they do baby stuff there). Last week when I was at swimming lessons that pool was closed/empty because a baby had vomited in the pool so it needed to be cleaned.

Kat_shoshin, I feel much the same as you, I think. If it's a food and drink policy, that's fine and I totally agree. I am fine with breastfeeding not being allowed in areas where bottle-feeding is not allowed. Bottle-feeding would not be allowed in the pool either, right?

In fact, at our local pool that I go to I have noticed signage stating that no food or drink is allowed anywhere near the pool - including the pool deck.

I think that the problem with this is the way the pool owner approached the woman, and handled the situation. If she had approached it in a different way, maybe it wouldn't have escalated the way it did. I agree with pp who stated it sounds like the pool owner approached it from a "this is indecent"/"trying to hide the nursing mother" way. Totally the wrong way to approach it.

So often I see the comparison being made that in a situation a bottle-feeding mom wouldn't be asked to leave so a breasfeeding mom shouldn't be asked to leave. I think in this case a bottle-feeding mom would have also been asked to leave... so why doesn't it go both ways?

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#28 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I'm not feeling this one. I don't think there is anything wrong with a no food/drink policy. I might feel differently if the mom had older kids and was nursing a newborn and keeping an eye on them. But nursing an almost 2yo doesn't seem urgent. She could have waited or moved.

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#29 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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So if you allow breastfeeding moms to feed their babies in the pool what about those who feed with bottles, whether it be formula or pumped breastmilk (since there would be no way to tell when already in a bottle) - if you allow one you have to allow the other.
I agree with this completely.

No food means no food. No formula, no breastmilk, no soda, no cheeseburgers. I thought we wanted BFing to be normal - part of everyday life and accepted by everyone. Now we want to make it a special exception?

Sorry, no. I think wanting it both ways sends mixed messages.

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#30 of 272 Old 11-13-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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OK, so.... if breastfeeding is included with the "no food or drink" rule, then, that means that under that rule we couldn't breastfeed in a store with a "no food or drink" sign in the window even if our state law says we can breastfeed anywhere we are allowed to be... so the "no food or drink" sign trumps state law??? If that's the case, then anyone can post a "no food or drink" sign anywhere they please to keep breastfeeding mothers out. I think that's a bunch of BS.

so if breastfeeding is included with the "no food or drink" rules, the it would also have to be included with the "no outside food or drink" rules... then I wouldn't be able to breastfeed in quite a few restaurants or any movie theater.

I bring sippy cups into the museum where there are "no food or drink" signs and no "security" or any other employee has ever said anything to me about it. I think there are certain allowances to the "rules" when it comes to babies and small children... considering breastfeeding "food or drink" (while it is food and drink) is taking the "rule" a bit too literal. Can you bring bottles of formula to the pool for FF babies? can they drink their bottles poolside, or would their mothers be told to take them to the cafe area?
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