A mum is planning to stage a breastfeeding protest at a swimming pool after she claims she was told that feeding her daughter broke the pool's 'no food or drink' rule.
Mum-of-four Natasha Barnett was at Middleton Pool in Newport Pagnell with her son Dominic, four, and her daughters Millie, nine, and five-month-old Olive, on Friday (August 1).
She claims she asked a lifeguard if she could breastfeed Olive at the side of the pool while her older children swam, and was told that it wasn't allowed because 'it's classed as eating and drinking.'
"When he said no I started welling up and had to get the children out of the pool and take them to the changing room so I could continue to feed Olive," Natasha told local news site MK Web.
"Normally I'd get angry but because of the shock I was really upset.
"I felt humiliated. It has knocked my confidence and I don't feel comfortable breastfeeding in other public areas now."
Natasha, 29, said that she has been taking her children to the pool for years and had never before been prevented from breastfeeding.
Middleton pool manager Sean O'Connor has since apologised in a statement on the pool's Facebook page.
"Myself and all of my team are fully supportive of breastfeeding within our facility, including poolside (not in the pool)," he wrote. "And as we attract such a large number of families from the local area, breastfeeding is a common and regular occurrence."
Mr O'Connor added that his staff's concerns were for 'the health and safety of her other young child who required adult supervision in the pool.'
"Our actions were a sensible and practical solution for ensuring the baby could be fed, both mother and baby would be comfortable and the slightly older child remained safe under mum's supervision," he wrote
But Natasha said she is not satisfied with the response. She plans to hold a protest by breastfeeding on the poolside with other local mothers, as she feels it's important that the pool makes its breastfeeding policy clearer to prevent future problems.
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