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17th Feb 2023

Breastfeeding mum humiliated after swimming pool staff tell her to leave

Kat O'Connor

The mum said she was shocked when staff asked her to leave.

An Irish mum has spoken out after she was told to leave a swimming pool for breastfeeding her baby.

Marguerite Sinnott was breastfeeding her 7-month-old baby at the UCD swimming pool when a member of staff approached her.

The mum was stunned when they told her that she isn’t allowed to breastfeed her child at the pool. Not only did they shame her for breastfeeding, but they also asked her to leave.

Writing about the “degrading” incident on Twitter, Marguerite said no mother should be shamed for breastfeeding her child in public.

She wrote;

“I was alone in the toddler pool with my baby and my two other small children when my baby became agitated. I sat out on the side of the toddler pool to settle him by breastfeeding while watching my older two.”

She continued, “Minutes later, a UCD Fitness staff member arrived, called me out of the toddler pool, and scoldingly advised: ‘I have been made aware that you are breastfeeding your child’.”

“They told me I wasn’t allowed to breastfeed my child here.”

They then told her to leave the pool area and to go feed her child in a cubicle.

“This was humiliating and degrading in front of my young son and daughter.”

Marguerite said she was shocked following the incident, but wants to use this experience to remind women that you can breastfeed in public and there is nothing wrong with it.

“Anywhere you can bring a baby, you can breastfeed a baby”

Ireland has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world and incidents like this show just how poor the attitude toward breastfeeding is in our country.

It’s a completely natural thing that mothers should be able to do without shame.

Marguerite stressed;

“If you’ve ever been told not to breastfeed your child somewhere, you’re familiar with this hodge-podge of insincere reasoning. This is whitewashing and it is nonsense. Thanks to the Equal Status Act 2000, anywhere you can bring a baby, you can breastfeed a baby.”