Two mothers are left fuming after being kicked out of a local swimming pool for breastfeeding their children.
Stephanie Buchanan and her sister-in-law, Mary Davis, visited the Mora Aquatic Center in Mora, Minn. for an afternoon of swimming.
With six children between them, the mothers were wading in the kiddie pool area, when Buchanan’s three-month-old son became fussy, and needed to be fed.
“There’s not really a choice sometimes,” Buchanan told local CBS News. “I was wearing a one-piece swimsuit, slipped my strap down and just fed him.”
Davis had already nursed her baby in the pool earlier in the day, but as Buchanan fed her son, the pair were approached by a woman at the pool.
“A patron came up, a lady at the pool, and told me that I needed to cover up because her sons were swimming,” Buchanan said.
A staff member approached Davis and Buchanan and asked them to either cover up, or continue nursing in the locker room. When the women refused, staff called the police.
“The reason I didn’t get out of the pool to breastfeed is my kids,” Davis told reporters. “I’ve got to watch my kids.”
The women were approached by an officer who advised the women that they would be asked to leave unless they agreed to be more “discreet.”
After her conversation with the police officer, Buchanan and Davis left the pool and went home.
The incident has now prompted the women to file discrimination charges against the city of Mora for violating Minnesota state law which allows all women to breastfeed “in any location, public or private.” The law explicitly states women are allowed to breastfeed “irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered.”
Buchanan shared her experience on social media, prompting a response from The City of Mora stating, “The City of Mora and Mora Aquatic Center (MAC) strive to create an environment comfortable for all. While we always have supported nursing mothers, the situation inside of the kiddy pool made many patrons uncomfortable. Our staff politely asked them to be more discrete or relocate to another area at the MAC. When they did not, it created an untenable situation and our public safety team was brought in to assist the MAC staff.”
The statement denies asking the women to leave the premises and offers an apology to Buchanan and Davis “if they were offended by how they were treated.”