Mom Told to Leave Public Pool for Breastfeeding: ‘I Have a Right to Feed My Baby’
June 12, 2019
A mother was told by a police officer to leave a public pool in Texas after she attempted to breastfeed her 10-month-old son.
Misty Daugereaux, a mom of two, said she was nursing her younger son during a trip to the Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center in Texas City with her kids and her nephew, when a lifeguard told her to cover up. A pool manager also approached her and said the same.
“She said, ‘You need to cover up or leave.’ She gave me the ultimatum,” Daugereaux told KTRK. “I said, ‘You show me where in your policy it says I need to cover up and I’ll leave.’ And she was telling me that it’s not right that I need to cover up but it’s their policy.”
It is legal in Texas, and all 49 other U.S. states, to breastfeed in public, covered or uncovered. PEOPLE has contacted the City of Texas City, who runs the public pool, for comment.
The pool manager then called the police to speak with Daugereaux. In footage from the police officer’s body camera, she is seen telling him, “I have a right to feed my baby.”
“They said I need to cover up — absolutely not, it’s your own discretion,” she said. “I’m conscious enough to know that I don’t want every man at the pool looking at my boobs, but when you have a 10-month-old who doesn’t take a bottle, I’m going to feed him. And I’m not being disrespectful, I don’t want to cause a scene.”
The police officer is then seen going to talk to the manager and lifeguard, who say that Daugereaux had both of her breasts out and it made them uncomfortable. They then ask the officer to tell Daugereaux to leave the pool.
“I walked out feeling defeated, because I couldn’t stand my ground,” the mom told KTRK.
After learning of her story, several moms in the area organized a nurse-in at the pool to protest the staff’s actions. Daugereaux joined them and said she appreciated their support.
“I feel powerful, loved and supported, more than I ever could have imagined,” she said.