Breastfeeding in public pool not allowed?

Celia - posted on 04/26/2010 ( 161 moms have responded )

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I was breastfeeding my son at the H20 center in my town and was asked by a lifeguard to get out of the pool. It was cool and my son will eat for 15 minutes or more and I feed him on demand so I was feeding him with his legs and bottom in the warm water. He said it was a sanitary issue since it concerned bodily fluids.
I'll just add that I leak when I hear a baby cry so regardless of the law I'm leaking in the pool every visit.
This is in Canada.
Human rights issue or gross sanitary problem.

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Lindsay - posted on 04/27/2010

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Could this not be as simple as a violation of no eating or drinking in the pool? I've never been to a public pool where it was allowed to eat or drink in a pool. It's a sanitary issue and while your baby may not spit up during the feed, it's still a possibility. If anyone were to get sick in a pool, it costs the pool owners money. Money for possible medical expenses if someone else were to get sick from it, money for having to close down the pool, and money for having to clean in and add more chemicals during normal operating hours. They probably asked her to leave the pool just as the would if they saw a mother bottle feeding a baby in the pool, a kid with a sippy, or a mom sipping on a pop.

Ez - posted on 04/26/2010

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This whole thread just illustrates how far we still have to go in normalising breastfeeding. People have compared breastmilk to urine and shit!! Seriously people!! It is not human waste!! It is not even remotely comparable to someone squatting on the steps and taking a dump. It is food. They are boobs. Get over it.

Dana - posted on 04/26/2010

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Alright, let's keep it on topic. The question was is it a human rights issue or a sanitary issue. That can be debated without attacking someone. As of right now, we've decided to leave these posts up but we will not tolerate personal attacks. If it continues we will delete and dole out 24 hr blocks.

Celia - posted on 04/26/2010

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As far as it being a bad place to choose to breastfeed, I think my son drinks enough of that water when he puts his fingers in his mouth or dips his face, and yes the chlorine sucks but I've weighed it against his fondness of the water :D
As far as playing it safe for the lifeguard, dosent float with me (pardon the pun) You dont act racist as a failsafe to a situation, and if he knew the law he would know he was violating my human rights and I could challenge it.
As for bottle fed babies, they are not fed in the pool because bottles are hardly as portable as my breasts, but I'd bet my baby is not as dehydrated as the other babies and we can stay and play longer... just a bonus to the boob :D
And as for milk in the pool, like I said earlier... I leak when I'm NOT breastfeeding... not when I am! When I am breastfeeding my son takes it all believe me! Haha

Joanna - posted on 04/27/2010

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Isn't there a common respect for others issue? Whether or not it's legal. Most smokers have some respect to not smoke in a room full of non-smokers, they go outside. Most breastfeeding moms have respect for people who are not comfortable with seeing the boob, they cover up. Most truck drivers have respect for cars behind them if they are going slow, they pull over in a pull-out on the highway and let the cars pass them.

So what's the big deal with respecting others in the pool, where food/drink isn't normally allowed, and moving a few feet to recline in a chair and feed your child?

Respect goes both ways... people should respect breastfeeding mothers, but they should also respect etiquette in public places where breastfeeding isn't normally done (IE this public pool).

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Isobel - posted on 05/16/2010

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Thank God I read this thread, I had entirely forgotten that I can walk around topless...

and I think ANY baby should have the right to eat anywhere bottle or breast.

Celia - posted on 05/14/2010

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Update:

The Manager after a few phone calls has agreed that they have to let women breastfeed in the pool under the Human Rights Code and previous suits that made it to tribunal and has informed his pool's lifeguards and other associated pools and their lifeguards that they may not interfere with a woman breastfeeding her child anywhere.

Brooke - posted on 05/13/2010

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Oooo...touchy subject. First off, might I start off by saying breast feeding is wonderful and I fully support breast feeding. I can see why he might ask you not to do it the pool. If I were in the pool with you it wouldn't have bothered me any but I can definitely see why he may ask you to not do it in the pool. I don't know, just my opinion. =)

Celia - posted on 04/28/2010

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I would be one of the naked hippies, see at least I keep my bathing suit on at the public pools! I do know how to follow rules :D

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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We have a new community pool, it's gorgeous, it's even got a pirate ship setup with little slides for toddlers.. it's amazing.. It's indoors, so open year round.. It's been a while since i've been something to do with a kids walking around the change rooms with a bag of almonds, putting his greasy paws on everything...



On the other note.. i've seen the peeing thing before, it's great. Never used it but in principle, I used to go on very long hikes as a child with the family, and hated having to make sure i didn't pee on my shoes.. Now if I had that I would have been a dry footed child on many occasions... *sigh*

?? - posted on 04/28/2010

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Our local waterpark at Gyro playground opens May 1st and close at the end of September - along with most of our campgrounds

Rosie - posted on 04/28/2010

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i live in iowa. the pool opens last week of may, and closes last week of august. there are places like the ymca that have indoor pools, but you have to pay a buttload to use it. same for entertainment parks, and water parks, they open middle may and end late september.

just read that link jocelyn. LMFAO!!! i want one!!

Sharon - posted on 04/28/2010

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ROTFL you guys crack me up! And um I'm not even going to that link because I think I've seen it before and NO I don't have one, lmao. I never said I wasn't gonna make a mess of it, but hey! I'm well hydrated and its sterile so it'll be fine... right?

?? - posted on 04/28/2010

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HAHA yes, yes it is !! Well not so much these days... tourists and hippies LOL

St Leons though... now that place is full of hippies !! Natural hot springs down a ravine outside of Nakusp, you have to hike up the dirt road (it's not drivable anymore) and then down the mountain side to get to it... beautiful natural pools though, totally worth the trek -- if you don't mind the naked hippies !

Celia - posted on 04/28/2010

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I miss Ainsworth! Thats where we swam with my son from 3 months till 6 months... and they told me to breastfeed often to keep his fluids up funny enough :D
Different places in the same province... totally different outlook on breastfeeding in the pool! lol

?? - posted on 04/28/2010

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lol the public pool is open year round here Kati...? They close down in July or August for maintenance then open the rest of the year 9am - 9pm.



And then there's Ainsworth, Nakusp, Halcyon and St Leons hotsprings that are open year round too that have pools as well.



Where do you live that you don't have year round public aquatic centers? lol





That makes sense Jocelyn, still !!! Creepy !! LOL

Jocelyn - posted on 04/28/2010

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LOL well it always helps to be prepared! Just as my hubby is a fountain of useless facts, I am a hoarder of useless websites :D

Rosie - posted on 04/28/2010

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what i want to know is where the hell is a pool that's open already in canada!! lol!! i want to go!

?? - posted on 04/28/2010

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Are you freaking kidding me ?!?!?! HOLY SHIT...... roflmao how come I didn't know about those things when I actually NEEDED one !!!! All of those awkward pee pee dance moments of travelling... all of those awkward pregnant turbo waddles to the bathroom after travelling..... I FEEL RIPPED OFF !!! Totally ordering some to be prepared for next time !!!!!!!!!!

LMAO thanks Jocelyn I needed that laugh today hahahahaha

PS: I'm a lil creeped out by you now, you replied with that link AWFULLY fast... did you have that link saved in your faves or something? lmao

?? - posted on 04/28/2010

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You can pee standing up? I've tried... I always end up pee'ing all down my leg and the floor.. I hate mopping so I stopped trying to master that practice.



:( so jealous of your pee'ing standing up abilities :(

Sharon - posted on 04/28/2010

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I swear - when I win the lottery - I'm opening a "no breastfeeding allowed" pool.

What the hell is it with people who HAVE to do something when no one else wants them to? Women HAD to be allowed in mens locker rooms because the male reporters were allowed. Why don't we see male reporters trooping into womens' locker rooms now?

For that matter - why are there seperate locker rooms? Lets face it, these days your kids and all men have seen naked bodies before?

Thats it!!! I'm going to walmart and using the mens bathroom because I damned well can and fuck you all who say otherwise.. I'm even going to pee standing up!! because I CAN!!

Lindsay - posted on 04/28/2010

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I'm sorry but to get so worked up over a simple request that was obviously put into place for a reason (not merely to be bothersome) because you have a "legal right" is nothing more than being selfish and lazy.

Celia - posted on 04/28/2010

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No I wouldent keep doing spmething that was harming someone else or potentially harming someone else.
I dont hing my breastfeeding my son is endangering anyone, including those with milk allergies as they would be exposed anyway unless I refrain from swimming while lactating.
My mommy duties are back up too, I guess our kids are on the same page at least with their naps :D

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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Trust me, I'm already a paranoid person, NOTHING makes me feel safer, but if it could help someone stay healthy, would you still say "hell no, it's my right" and go ahead and do it anyways..

(on another note.. nap time is over.. Back to mommy duties..)

Celia - posted on 04/28/2010

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As for Allergies to milk, I leak in the pool... period. Even if I dont feed my son.. especially when I dont feed him!
I'm sorry your daughter has allergies. My mother also has severe allergies to almost everything that is common. lemon, wheat, melon, most raw fruits, not to mention dust and pollens. I understand the struggle you face keeping your daughter safe. But a boy could eat a Peanut butter sandwich and 15 minutes later sneeze in the pool and send someone into severe shock. I am just as likely to drip water laden milk on the side of the pool when walking to the hot tub. My not feeding my son in the pool dosent make your daughter safer, it just makes you feel safer.

Celia - posted on 04/28/2010

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it was in a pool... a warming pool, and I was kneeling on the seat (like a hot tub bench) with my right elbow that was supporting my sons head resting on the edge so my shoulder dident get tired...
Better Sharon? lol
And I'm glad you fing my breastfeeding technique facinating, thank you :D

Jenny - posted on 04/28/2010

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Sharon, there are 4 different pools at our pool. A kiddie pool, a wave pool, a warming pool and an olympic size swimming pool which can be further divided into two pools. She was not changing her "story", just being more specific.

Dana - posted on 04/28/2010

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Sharon it's always been the same story, don't know where you're coming up with that.

Sharon - posted on 04/28/2010

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Why is it her story changes with every objection someone raises?

First it was the pool, then it was on the edge, now its a warming pool, seperate from the regular pool.

FASCINATING.

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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That's kind of what I was reffering to being ridiculous of course, but I do find that most people when a comparisson isn't favourable, it's automatically ridiculous. I know it's unlikely to happen, but the rules are there for that reason as well, and shouldn't we be doing our best to protect our kids.. ALL kids if possible? I mean, just for having to walk a few feet and wrap yourself in a towel to warm up, it's not really too much to ask, and keeps everyone happy. If I were asked to breastfeed on the side of the pool in that situation i'd do it, because it's respectful of the rules, and makes things easier and safer for everybody..

Dana - posted on 04/28/2010

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Caitlin, I sympathize as my son also has allergies, I just still think it's really reaching and unlikely to happen. And as I stated, that is just as likely to happen anywhere as it would be in a pool setting. As far as the comparison to the topless matter or jumping off a bridge, I never said it was ridiculous, although, the bridge....that I kind of do. ;)

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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And the topless law was just to illustrate the point that just because you CAN doesn't mean you should.. I could have also said you CAN jump off a bridge, but should you? But apparently a comparison that is not favorable to your opinion is ridiculous.. so never mind..

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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Possibly a stretch, but reactions have happened for smaller things.. Really, I've gotten milk on my hand/arm while breastfeeding, especially if a let down happens and my other breast starts leaking. The milk can drip anywhere really, ont he edge of the pool, just like the crumbs of a PB&J sandwich can fall on the edge of the pool and a kid can walk by later and get it on their foot.. scratch their foot with their hand, then scratch their face.. YES reactions can happen like that, and be just as severe for milk as they are for Peanut Butter. I'm not anti-breastfeeding.. as I said, I breastfed both my children. The difference is when I take my daughter to the pool, I carry her most of the time, until she's old enough to wear water shoes on the pool deck so I wont worry.. My daughter is learning WAY before most toddlers that she can't go around touching everything, because she has reactions sometimes because of residues left behind by other snackers.. If she is going to sit down anywhere that's not the stroller, it gets thoroughly wiped down with a lysol wipe beforehand, but you can't do that at a pool! In public she's wearing clothes and shoes.. in a pool she's wearing a little bathing suit and she's barefoot so she's more suceptible to come into contact with her allergens.. Not much of a stretch.. And Dana, just because you don't leak means others dont.. I'm a veteran breastfeeder and feed on demand as well, but even then sometimes I leak..

Dana - posted on 04/28/2010

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What does the topless law have to do with breastfeeding in a pool?

Are you now saying a mother shouldn't breastfeed in a pool because she might have milk on her hand and then touch your child. What about all the other times in public a mother breastfeeds her child. Not to mention that I have never gotten breast milk on my hand while feeding my child, so I don't think that's really common or an issue. It really seems as if you're stretching here...

Rose - posted on 04/28/2010

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i don't see it as a problem just like you said when you are breastfeeding you constantly are leaking or sometimes you can have a let down how can you stop that? I think he was just uncomfortable and didn't agree with it. I don't find it gross its not like it is dirty.

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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I mean heck, my kid is allergic to everything.. I knwo she could come into contact with anything anywhere, so I go everywhere with a medical kit for her, it's what I have to do, but it would really be nice to have a FEW places I don't have to worry about..

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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Oh, You must have missed my post ealier about the topless law in Ontarioo being quashed as well.. As a woman you have every right to walk around town topless, but would you walk around topless downtown if it was during some sort of kids festival or something.. NO.. it's just not right, just can you CAN doesn't mean you should.. It's not about what you CAN do, it's about what you should be doing in this case.. You SHOULDN'T be feeding your kid in the pool in my opinion.



The breastmilk isn't so dangerous once it's in the water, but what if you get some on your hand, then my kid slips and you reach out to steady her, you've just caused an allergic reaction.. It's really not about what's likely to happen so much as what COULD happen.. I'm just putting another angle out there to consider, to bring a new level to it beyond just "germs" and "icky".. You had specifically mentioned human rights, so I mention how do your human rights superceed those of my daughter... (I'm in canada as well, I know how this works.. We are notorious for granting rights to people that impose on the rights of others..)

Dana - posted on 04/28/2010

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Caitlain, you must have missed this post of Celia's earlier.

Celia Browne-Clayton
yesterday, 11:32 am
The eating/drinking rule as a reason to not allow breastfeeding was squashed by Ontario, breastfeeding was shown to not fall under this set of rules.
Breastfeeding is protected under the charter of Human Rights and freedoms in B.C. were I am from. it is illegal to ask me to cover-up, stop breastfeeding, or move to another location.. and it does not say except in the pool.
http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/human-rights-pro...

Jenny - posted on 04/28/2010

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Caitlin, as I stated previously, my milk released in a public pool when I was not breastfeeding. Should we just keep lactating moms out of the pool altogether?

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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Well, no eating or drinking in the pool.. he said it was because of bodily fluids.. maybe one of his colleagues told him to tell her to get out of the pool, but he wasn't sure why, so he did, but gave the wrong reason... I agree that as a bodily fluids issue, it's kind of irrelevant, but as a food/drink issue thing, the request holds weight..

Caitlin - posted on 04/28/2010

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*Sigh* So because you want to breastfeed your baby in the pool, I can't be sure that my daughter will be safe in a USUALLY non-food non-drink environment.. I already dread the thought of putting her down to walk on the floor in the change rooms because a parent just can't wait to whip out their childs snack as soon as they get out of the pool, even though technically it's not allowed in the changing rooms either... So your human rights trump my human rights.. That's the whole point of this.. There are REASONS for the rules... By the way, I used to be a lifeguard and I taught lifeguards, and if I had seen this situation, I would have reacted in the same way, and asked you to leave the water to nurse your baby, maybe he just wasn't clear on WHY he was being asked to do it..

Jocelyn - posted on 04/28/2010

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On a slightly different point I was breastfeeding my daughter yesterday (ironically at the pool, but no I wasn't IN the pool lol) and this older woman, saw and came over with this huge smile on her face. She started gushing about how nice it is to see a younger woman breast feeding and how handy it is and how she loves to see a lovely rolly breast fed baby ^_^ It made my day!

Lucy - posted on 04/28/2010

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LOL!

I'm with you, Celia, on the drink in a hot tub, if only I didn't live in the rainy old UK- It's just a big public pool I wouldn't fancy sipping my cocktail in ;)

Celia - posted on 04/28/2010

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I will only feed my child where I too would feel comfortable eating...
I would have loved a slurpee in the warm pool... nummy!!! And I cant tell you how many times I've had an apple cider in a friends hot tub.
and no I wouldent offer to have it decontaminated since people who bring babies who soil themselves dont have to pay to clean the pool... thats what my pool fee pays for.
and I agree with Dana... dont drink the water, there may be milk in it.

Dana - posted on 04/28/2010

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I think regardless of if you're breastfeeding or not, you shouldn't let your kids drink chlorinated pool water. lol

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