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Friday, July 19, 2013

Mom kicked out of pool for breastfeeding

A mom in Great Britain has staged a nurse-in because she was asked to leave the pool area while nursing recently. The lifeguard asked her to stop because it violated the 'no food and drink' rule. But the thing is, she was physically in the pool when she was asked to stop.

Normally I'm all for breastfeeding your baby wherever, whenever the baby needs to be fed. But I must admit, I find the idea of breastfeeding while in the pool kind of gross - but it has nothing to do with modesty, covering up, exposing the breast or any of that. 

Despite being treated with chemicals,
swimming pools are still pretty
disgusting when it comes to germs and
bacteria. Studies have shown that kids
and adults alike are known to treat it as
a public bathroom.
Photo: analab01/Stock.xchng
I think one person actually unfriended me on FaceBook over posting this article, perhaps misunderstanding my concern and interpreting it that I don't support public breastfeeding. Actually, it's quite the opposite. But I can understand how the pool would be concerned with her nursing there, and they actually stated that she was free to nurse anywhere around the pool area, just not in the water. 

Some mentioned the risks of milk leaking (probably unlikely) and the baby throwing up. In my case, this would've been a reality with my second, who regularly threw up copious amounts and then proceeded to want to nurse all over again. I probably would not have wanted to nurse in the pool, but had I decided to, most likely we would have contaminated the entire area. The cost to treat a pool that's been contaminated is likely quite high because it's a very involved process, involves closing portions of the pool and results in a loss of revenue because no one can swim. 

Despite all the chemicals used, pools apparently are still pretty disgusting. The woman was sitting in the jetted whirlpool area (I'm assuming the baby pool) where probably nearly all of the four-and-under set forego interrupting their play and just simply urinate wherever they are. If you've ever used those "swim diapers," they're pretty much worthless at containing anything. And it's estimated that even 1 in 5 adults pee in the pool. Disgusting!

Not to mention the grossness that's floating: residue from personal care products and sun lotions, body oils, dead skin cells. Yuck. It almost makes you never want to go swimming again, breastfeeding or not. 

It's been estimated that many people don't shower before entering the pool (who knew?) and therefore all kinds of interesting things like e. coli hang out in the filters and everywhere else. Bacterias that can ear infections and skin rashes were found in a majority of public pools, and "pools used primarily by children tested positive 73 percent of the time." Apparently public municipal pools are the worst offenders. 

It's not like your breasts are sterile, but perhaps reducing one more point of contact while nursing is wise, rather than staging a protest to fight for your right to breastfeed in what is quite literally a public bathroom.