A Texas mother is standing her ground on breastfeeding in public places days after she was removed from a city pool during an argument with staffers over her right to nurse her baby.
Misty Daugereaux, 32, said she had taken her 10-month-old son, 4-year-old son and 4-year-old nephew to swim Sunday at Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center in Texas City, Texas, outside Galveston. She said at one point, her infant became “fussy,” so while the older boys played, she adjusted her swimsuit to expose one of her breasts and she started to nurse.
Moments later, she said, she was approached by a lifeguard, then a manager, telling her she could not breast-feed at the pool.
Following an emotional exchange, someone called the police — though it’s not clear whether the person who called was a pool manager or a guest. The officer told Daugereaux to pack up and go.
Since then, her story has been shared widely across social media, prompting an outpouring of support from other mothers, some of whom organized a “nurse-in” Monday outside the pool to stand beside her in solidarity, she said.
Daugereaux said people should be praising nursing mothers for breastfeeding. “I hope it raises awareness,” she said, “and empowers them, not shames them.”
Daugereaux said soon after she started nursing her son, a lifeguard approached her and asked whether she was breastfeeding. She said when told him “yes,” he responded, “You can’t do that here.”
Daugereaux said that when she argued that she was within her legal rights to breastfeed her son there, the lifeguard got the manager, who told her it was against pool policy.
Daugereaux said that when she continued to push back, the manager replied: “Well I’m going to have to ask you to cover up. It’s our policy that you have to be covered.”
Daugereaux said she asked to see the policy, and the manager told her to leave.
Shortly after Daugereaux declined to leave, she said, a police officer showed up.
Someone who answered the phone at Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center on Tuesday declined to comment on what happened.