Public pool staff calls police when two Minnesota moms refuse to “cover up or go to the locker room” to breastfeed. Moms are suing.
Two breastfeeding mothers were asked to “cover up or go to the locker room” at a public pool in a small town called Moore, Minnesota.
The two sisters-in-law were watching their other four children while playing with their babies in the shallow end of the pool.
When Stephanie Buchanan’s 3-month-old got fussy, she knew he was hungry and started to feed him.
“There’s not really a choice sometimes,” Buchanan says in the video below. “I was wearing a one-piece swimming suit and I just flipped my strap down and fed him.”
“A patron came and told me I needed to cover up because her sons were swimming.”
When Buchanan refused to give into the guest, a staff member came and asked the women to cover up or go to the locker area.
A 2017 Minnesota law states “a mother may breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.”
Knowing her rights, Buchanan’s sister-in-law, Mary Davis, proceeded to feed her infant.
“The reason I didn’t get out of the pool to breastfeed is my kids… I gotta watch my kids,” Davis said.
In an attempt to get the women to comply, pool staff called the local police.
The police didn’t ask the women to leave, but suggested that they feed their babies more discreetly on the pool deck, rather than “in the kiddie pool.”
“Breast-feeding at the Mora pool isn’t anything new. It’s been a normal thing for years,” Kanabec County Sheriff Brian Smith told the StarTribune.
“My own kids were breast-fed at that pool,” Smith said. “It’s usually done discreetly — not out in the middle of the kiddie pool with little kids playing in the water.”
By this time, the women were so fed-up, they left, and took their cause to social media.
They’ve organized a poolside nurse-in today at noon to raise awareness about their legal right to nurse in public.