A Montreal borough has apologized to a mother who was told to stop breastfeeding her baby at a public pool because it was making people uncomfortable.
Melodie Nelson told CBC News she was at a pool in Rosemont yesterday with her two children trying to escape the scorching heat when she started to feed her one-year-old son. CBC has agreed to not use Nelson's real name in order to protect her children's identity.
After she started breastfeeding at the side of the pool, she said, she was approached by a lifeguard.
"He told me that I really had to stop, and he told me that other people in the pool told him to tell me to stop,” she said.
“I knew that I was in my right."
Nelson refused and continued to feed her son.
She later wrote about the encounter on her blog and received an outpouring of support.
The borough of Rosemont has apologized for the incident and said the teenage lifeguard was a new employee who simply made an error.
A borough spokesperson said staff have been reminded that breastfeeding in public spaces is not prohibited.
Nelson is hoping the incident will serve as an opportunity to further educate the public about breastfeeding.
She’s organizing a “nurse-in” at the pool tomorrow and already has dozens of mothers organized to participate.
“If we would see more mothers breastfeeding their child, maybe a 16-year-old would find it appropriate and would never go and say to a mother … to stop,” she said.