real life

"I'm all for breastfeeding in public. But not here."

This writer says that this time, the man who rebuked a mum for breastfeeding in public got it right.

I support public breastfeeding, but only to a point.

I’m usually outraged at stories of breastfeeding mums being kicked out of cafes and restaurants. There’s no reason for it and the establishments that have the audacity to take such action deserve all the negative publicity that comes their way.

A line needs to be drawn, however, at mums breastfeeding at public pools. I just don’t understand it.

A mum has been reprimanded at a public pool for breastfeeding her baby just two steps away from the water. Rebecca Hough, 23, was approached by the manager of the Luk Park Centre in Liskeard when she started breastfeeding 10-month-old son Max. He said he was concerned that it wasn’t hygienic and that Max might spit up in the pool if she went back in shortly after feeding him. He suggested she feed her son in the change room instead and then give him a good 30 minutes to digest the milk before they went back in the pool.

That sounds like really sensible advice to me, but Rebecca says she was shocked and spared no time rushing off to share her outrage.

“Max was a bit unsettled so I decided to give him a really quick feed. I felt really embarrassed at being asked to leave when I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

Yes, babies get hungry and in an effort to stop them crying we are tempted to feed them on the spot, but sometimes mums need to take a short walk to a more suitable location.

This whole public breastfeeding debate has gone way to far. It’s gotten to a point where mums think it’s appropriate to breastfeed their children anywhere.

There are times when mums have no choice but to give their babies a quick feed, but mums who breastfeed their babies in the carpark of a shopping centre and at the side of a public pool are just making poor choices. Any mum in these situations are just a short walk away from a better breastfeeding location.

The mum at the pool should have listened to the manager’s advice. My 3 children take swimming lessons and my oldest boy threw up in the pool during a lesson because he accidentally swallowed too much water.

Public pools are required to clear the pool after an incident of vomiting and clean up properly due to health and safety regulations. This manager was just trying to look out for the comfort and safety of everyone using the pool.

I support public breastfeeding, to a point. In this situation, the mum was completely in the wrong.

Do you think there’s anywhere a mum should not breastfeed? 

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