UK Mums have slammed a council after pool staff asked them to leave the water while they breastfed their babies.

Natalie Forester and Chloe Hattersley were feeding their children during baby swim sessions at Dimensions pool in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

They were then stopped by staff who asked them to leave the pool while breastfeeding and sit on the side, shares The Mirror.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council says breastfeeding is welcome at the poolside, but is ‘discouraged’ in its swimming pools ‘for the health and comfort of the child and to avoid the risk of the child regurgitating or vomiting in the pool’.

But Natalie and Chloe say this policy does not make sense and is at odds with the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Act 2010 says it is discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Councillor Anthony Munday, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, defended the authority’s policy.

He said: “We have many areas at our poolside where breastfeeding can take place and actively promote and support this, although we do ask that breastfeeding doesn’t happen in the pool.

“We take on board the feedback from mums and will do more to work with them to understand their views and consider if this is something that needs to change for the future. We are sorry if this has caused any distress to any of our pool users.”

Can you see their point about health and comfort concerns?

Share your comments below.

  • Mother’s breasts sometimes leak at the end of a feed. That isn’t needed in the pool either.
    I would not want my baby inhaling the smell of chemicals or it stinging their eyes while feeding. It is bad enough while they are actually in the water.


  • A bit of an overreaction on the mother’s part. As the pool spokesperson said – they have other areas for breast feeding beside the pool. I can understand them wanting to reduce the amount of baby chucks!


  • Why would you pay the expensive fees for swimming lessons only to spend what I would imagine to be most of the class breastfeeding? I’m also thinking of OH&S and health and hygiene. And I’m also thinking of the other participants in the class. When did we become so gung ho about breastfeeding to the detriment of all else and concern and care for others?


  • Are these women fairdinkum,find something to do and stop trying to find fault in everything that is going on around you,If you don’t like these rules don’t sign up for sessions.I don’t like to have to leave the water when I need to pea,will you support me?


  • I just wouldn’t even think of breastfeeding my child at the pool. I would schedule a pool session in between feeds (which I did when my twins were breastfeeding and we wanted to take our older daughter to the pool!)


  • Health and safety is a big issue, plus the cost of having to drain the pool if a child vomits is something the centre will have to wear and you can bet the Mums won’t offer to pay for it, not to mention the centre having to relocate classes etc while it’s being done. Why do they need to breastfeed in the pool, anyway? If they’re not participating in the lesson for that time then they shouldn’t be in there! Seriously, I’m all for breastfeeding, but these two clowns are just trying to get 15 minutes of fame!

    • I totally agree, it’s commonsense lacking here.


  • I don’t find anything strange in asking the woman to leave the pool and feed outside.


  • The pool needs to have policies for the health and safety of everyone it seems more like these women were attempting to get attention making their complaint public.


  • I thought this would be common sense. No one is allowed to eat in he pool so I don’t know why these mums hi K they’re being discriminated against. And that’s not including the health risks if baby accidentally ends up drinking pool water either. Bet they didn’t even think about the fact that they would have to shut down any pool with a contaminant like vomit in it until it’s clean. Commonsense is really lacking here.


  • I don’t think this is really discrimination as the mums were encouraged to breastfeed at the poolside. I agree with the policy of the pool, it can truly be a danger to breastfeed in the water which also contains chlorine.

    • Good point about chemicals in the pool.


  • It makes sense to me to breastfeed out of the pool. No one eats or drinks in a pool and surely that includes bubs. Getting out of a pool and finding a dry place makes sense to me.


  • Amazed that these mothers didn’t use their own common sense and go to a safe area to breastfeed their little ones. Wet babies are slippery babies, so shouldn’t be fed in the pool


  • Um breastfeeding in a public pool. Thats a health and safety regulation..
    Baby could accidently drink pool chemicals if the breast was close to the water.
    Baby could slip while mum was fixing up her bra when finished or changing breast.
    And i dont think people would be too keen on swimming in a pool of baby vomit.
    They were just to ask move out of the pool just to feed. There isnt any judgement there.
    Sorry its just common sense I believe.


  • I agree with the pool staff. Breastfeeding does not need to happen in the water.


  • It seems more like a safety issue to Me. Babies are slippery when wet. The mother could easily drop the baby into the water or they could breathe in water!


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