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Regina mother shamed for breastfeeding in public pool
Published Wednesday, August 30, 2017 5:57PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:09PM CST
Amy Franks is a mother of six children and believes no woman should ever feel ashamed for breastfeeding her baby in public.
"I don't actually understand why people feel it's unacceptable,” said Franks. “Mothers should be okay to feed their child while they are at restaurants or in the grocery store, we should not have to go to the bathroom and sit in a stall to feed our babies."
But during a family trip to the Sandra Schmirler Centre pool in Regina, Franks said she was shamed by a lifeguard for feeding her four-month-old in the pool.
"I felt embarrassed and kind of humiliated that I was not able to do such a natural thing for my child, which is breastfeeding."
Kim Smith, a lactation consultant in Regina, was also shamed while breastfeeding her child in a public pool 10 years ago. Smith said she can't believe a decade later, some people still feel that it is something woman should hide.
"It really comes down to just being supportive of mothers and what they need to do to take care of their children and also belong in the community," said Smith.
The City of Regina says breastfeeding is acceptable at all of its facilities. Patrons are asked to breastfeed while on the pool deck and not in the water.
"Recently, we did not do a good job in communicating our practice to one of our patrons resulting in a negative experience for our customer," the city said in a statement.
Franks said she's speaking out for all mothers and for her daughters, who she hopes won't have to worry about breastfeeding if they become parents.
"We need to change this for moms and for babies that it's a natural thing and we don't need to be embarrassed or humiliated or that we need to cover up," she said.