KOKOMO, Ind. – A mother of four is frustrated after she says a local water park told her she couldn't breastfeed her child in public.
Kayla Britton and her kids recently visited Kokomo Beach Water Park. Britton said she was walking and breastfeeding her newborn when a lifeguard told her to stop. The guard suggested she should use the onsite breastfeeding room.
“I just said, ‘Ah no,’ and just kept on walking because I know my rights," Britton said.
Indiana law allows a mother to breastfeed in any place that she is allowed to be by law. City officials said Britton was walking through the water and that the lifeguard feared the baby may ingest pool chemicals. This is their official statement.
"The City of Kokomo recognizes and respects a woman’s right to breastfeed anywhere the woman has a right to be. In this situation, the woman was in the pool, with her newborn, and fully exposed. Concerned there may be safety issues for the mother and her newborn, including the child possibly ingesting chemicals from the pool water, the lifeguard suggested the mother consider nursing in the room that is available onsite for breastfeeding mothers. The woman responded “no,” and that she would do it anywhere she wanted. That was the end of the interaction."
Britton disagrees with their story and says she was walking at the water's edge to another shaded part of the park.
“I don't know how that would be possible with me walking and carrying him," Britton said. “I'm well over five-foot tall, so I don't think he could be exposed to pool water five feet above it."
Kayla hopes her story teaches other businesses to know breastfeeding laws.