This Mom Is Fighting Back After She Was Shamed for Breastfeeding at Her Local Pool
"I'm so speechless about the whole situation."
Several women (these celebrities included) have been using their voices to help normalize the natural act of breastfeeding. But the mother of a 14-month-old recently took to Facebook to prove that we still have a long way to go. (Related: The Perks and Health Benefits of Breastfeeding)
Brei Theisen was breastfeeding her daughter at her local pool when she was approached by a manager who told her to "cover up." Outraged by the interaction, the Illinois mom took to Facebook to share her experience, hoping to raise awareness about how it still isn't considered normal or okay to nurse your child in public.
"I was confronted by the manager of the facility saying that I needed to cover up and be more discreet because I was offending people," she wrote in a Facebook post. "Am I supposed to starve my child because someone is uncomfortable with themselves or because they are sexualizing breastfeeding?" (Related: This Victoria's Secret Angel Is Here to Tell You 'Breastfeeding Is Not Sexual It's Natural')
In the post, which now has over 500 likes and over 400 shares, Theisen says she was urged to breastfeed her daughter in the public restroom instead.
"I'm so speechless about the whole situation," wrote Theisen. "Not only is it illegal to tell a breastfeeding mother to cover up or go to the bathroom, but to tell me why can't I feed her by a toilet? And people wonder why moms are so scared to (breastfeed) in public."
The Wood River Park and Recreation Department, which manages the pool Theisen was at has since apologized, according to local news station Alton Daily.
"The Wood River Aquatic Center prides itself on being a family friendly environment...the aquatic center does not discriminate against breastfeeding mothers, and allows breastfeeding mothers to nurse their children at our facility in accordance with the law," they said in a statement. "Our manager and staff have been fully briefed on the law and will incorporate the law into our training for all employees immediately. We apologize to the mother and child for any inconvenience we may have caused them."
Here's to hoping that Theisen's story encourages more establishments to educate employees about a mother's right to breastfeed in public.