'Shocked': Mum asked to move while breastfeeding at public pool

A mother of two was left shocked after a breastfeeding incident at a Blenheim pool. Photo: File /...
A mother of two was left shocked after a breastfeeding incident at a Blenheim pool. Photo: File / Getty Images
A mother of two was left "shocked" after she was told by a Blenheim lifeguard to move while breastfeeding her child on the side of a pool.

On Tuesday the mother, who wished to remain anonymous, visited the Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 pool to cool down as temperatures soared into the 30s.

While spending time in the pool with her two children she noticed her youngest was hungry.

So she popped out of the water to breastfeed her child, while keeping an eye on her 4-year-old who was in the pool.

Making sure she could get to her child if anything were to happen, she sat on the edge of the pool while breastfeeding keeping her feet in the water.

"I was well out of the pool myself just so I could get to him in a rush if I needed to, and within 20 seconds there's a lifeguard right onto me."

"I was just shocked because I purposely made the effort to get out of the pool to avoid that exact situation," she told the Herald.

The woman told the Herald the lifeguard's reason for her to move was to make sure breast milk didn't get into the pool.

General manager of Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 Bridget Taylor told the Herald mothers constantly breastfeed poolside.

"We have landed on a place where we feel it appropriate for mothers to breastfeed away from the pool edge to avoid any regurgitation or vomit from entering the pool. This avoids the need to close pools for cleaning during busy public sessions."

Taylor said the pool tries hard to balance the needs of customers.

"God forbid a splash of my breast milk gets into the pool, rather than be close enough so I can keep my 4-year-old safe" the mother said.

She told the Herald the lifeguard came across "very abrupt".

"Breastfeeding women leak anyway whether or not I'm feeding my baby, I am probably leaking breast milk into the pool anyhow."

Taylor said a chair was offered to the mother to sit on beside the pool while breastfeeding.

However, the mother wished to stay close to her child in the pool in case anything were to happen while she was out of the pool.

The mother says she has read articles in the past where people compared eating in a pool to breastfeeding in the pool but she argues it isn't the same thing.

When breastfeeding her child the mother was in a once piece and removed one strap to feed her child but says the tog fabric was covering her breast and no nipple could be seen.

"It was no more visible than anyone else in a bikini."

The mother says the incident made her feel terrible and was the "icing on the cake for already a really hard week".

While she is not from the region, she told the Herald she will not return to the pool.

"I felt like I wasn't welcome there anymore."

Taylor said she welcomed the opportunity to explain the pool's policy to the mother and could offer options if she "finds herself in a similar situation again".

"We constantly work on improving water safety and swimmer education in our pools and want to support every parent who brings their children to our facility."










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