Breastfeeding Mom Kicked Out of Swimming Pool Plans to File Charges: 'It's Absolutely Disgusting'
Stephanie Buchanan was wading in a kiddie pool with her 3-month-old son Roman at the Mora Aquatic Center in Mora, Minn. when he started to get fussy.
“There’s not really a choice sometimes,” Buchanan told WCCO-TV. “So, I was wearing a one-piece swimsuit, slipped my strap down and just fed him.”
Her sister-in-law, Mary Davis, had already breastfed her baby in the pool earlier that day while the two of them kept watch over their other children. But as Buchanan was nursing, a woman at the pool came up to her.
“A patron came up, a lady, at the pool, and told me that I needed to cover up because her sons were swimming,” Buchanan said.
A staff member then allegedly came up to them and said they could either cover up while breastfeeding or go to the locker room to nurse. Buchanan said she could not leave the pool area because she was watching her other children.
“The reason I didn’t get out of the pool to breastfeed is my kids,” Davis said. “I’ve got to watch my kids.”
Minnesota state law allows women to breastfeed “in any location, public or private,” and “irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered.”
PEOPLE has contacted Mora Aquatic Center for comment.
Staff at the pool called the police, which pushed Buchanan and Davis to leave.
They now plan to file discrimination charges against the city of Mora — which runs the aquatic center — and the county. They also organized a nurse-in with several dozen moms outside the pool on Saturday.
“I am in complete awe over how I as a mother was treated here, I don’t expect any grown adult to go eat in the locker room and I’m not going to remove the other children I have with me to go sit in the locker room also while I feed my baby, it’s absolutely disgusting and maddening that this is how this establishment treats moms!!!” Buchanan wrote on Facebook after the incident on Wednesday.
Davis said she hopes that the pool, and the city, learns from this experience.
“We just don’t want any other mom to feel that she needs to cover up,” she said.