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Breast Feeding in Public

Amber Hinds, a mother of two, lactation counselor, public breastfeeding advocate and blogger, has shared her story about breast feeding in public. Her story holds relevance for all mothers who are nursing, have nursed, or stopped nursing due to public embarrassment. 

Amber has breastfed for over three years cumulatively and has practiced breastfeeding everywhere she goes: at the mall, park, beach, office, meetings, etc. Not once has she been asked to stop publically breastfeeding until recently. 

She was at an indoor swimming pool with her husband and children when her youngest got hungry, so Amber did as she has always done and began breastfeeding. A teenage lifeguard came up to her and said that no breastfeeding was allowed at the pool and that she needed to go to the locker room to proceed. Amber, dumbfounded, replied that she knew her rights and that she was legally allowed to breastfeed wherever necessary. It is also ironic that here, at a family swimming pool, is the first place Amber was told to stop breastfeeding. Not only is every person in the pool nearly naked, but there were many girls there in skimpy bikinis that covered far less than skin than Amber was showing; in fact, her baby’s head was covering more of the breastfeeding breast than was exposed on her other breast. 

The next day, Amber was still distraught about being told to stop breastfeeding. She was so concerned about it because of the way it made her feel. Luckily, she has already been breastfeeding for so long and is far too aware of the benefits of breastfeeding to stop; but what about a new mother? Being told to stop breastfeeding in public in such a way could have been enough to embarrass the mother to never breast feed in public again, or worse, stop breastfeeding all together. 

Therefore, she called the pool’s administrative offices and asked to speak with the manager. Amber explained to the manager what had happened, and, as it turns out, the pool actually has no restrictions on breastfeeding; the lifeguard had told Amber to stop breastfeeding on her own judgment. 

Amber published her story because of the impact she hoped that it would make on new and old mothers everywhere. The benefits of breastfeeding are vast: its best for the baby, the mother, the family, employers, the community and the environment. So, mothers, stand strong and stand your ground; we all have the right to breastfeed whenever and wherever necessary. 

Sources: Huffington Post

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