A mother in Texas City, Texas claims she was removed from a public swimming pool for breastfeeding her hungry 10-month-old child over the weekend. In response, members of a breastfeeding support group in the area staged a "nurse-in" at the pool.
Misty Daugereaux visited Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center with her nephew and two sons on Sunday. While spending time by the pool, her baby became hungry, and she tried to breastfeed him discreetly, according to KTRK.
That’s when a lifeguard approached the mother and told her that she could not nurse at the pool, due to it being against their policy.
"She said you need to cover up or leave," Daugereaux told the station. "She gave me the ultimatum. And I said, 'Well, you show me in your policy where I need to cover up and I'll leave.'
And, she was telling me that it was not right, that I needed to cover up. It was their policy. And I said, 'Well, you can go call whoever you need to call, but I'm not leaving for breastfeeding my son.' "
Ultimately, a manager and Texas City police were called to the scene. According to Daugereaux's Facebook post regarding the incident, she was told to leave by the police.
"I'm so hurt, embarrassed and ASHAMED, that this is what TEXAS CITY STANDS FOR," she wrote. "They're employees should be educated! [Their manager] could of used that moment to educate her staff! Yet I was escorted out with Two 4 year olds and my 10m old on my hip! Tears pouring down my face." [sic]
According to Texas' Health and Safety Code, "A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorised to be."
That’s why protestors, many of whom are members of the Galveston County Health District's Mother's Milk Club, a breastfeeding support group, stood in support of Daugereaux outside of the pool on Monday morning, after her post was widely shared.
City leaders provided the following statement to KTRK: "We, the City of Texas City are reviewing the nursing concerns raised at the Nessler Pool and how it was addressed by our staff. We apologise to Misty Daugereaux as it is clear she was offended by how she was treated at our City Facility. City policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary. Any deficiencies regarding our employee's actions will be addressed with further training."