Mom is ‘upset and shocked’ after being advised to stop breastfeeding in the lazy river by a water park

In an incident that left her deeply perturbed and astonished, a mother found herself advised to discontinue breastfeeding while relaxing in the placid river of a water park. The situation unfolded with a jest that initially led her to chuckle, assuming it to be a poor attempt at humor. However, her amusement was short-lived as a female attendant approached her, asserting that her presence was not welcome on the premises with the baby in tow. The mother, torn between complying and tending to her child who had latched onto her, faced a dilemma.

The predicament escalated when a second staff member reiterated the no-breastfeeding policy. This prompted the mother, along with her children, to exit the pool in search of clarity.

Remarkably, the water park’s rules did not specifically address children, except for the requirement that infants should wear swim diapers, a rule that her son adhered to diligently. When she requested to speak with a manager to gain some clarity, the response she received was, “No consumption of food or beverages while in the water.”

The irony was palpable. The concern shifted from breast milk, which was only entering the baby’s mouth, with her breast being partially exposed but above the waterline, to the purported discomfort of other park-goers.

The distressed mother felt compelled to share her disconcerting experience at Rigby’s Water World, reflecting on the treatment meted out to breastfeeding mothers, hoping to raise awareness among her fellow mothers who may encounter similar situations.

In her quest for justice, she sought a refund for her season pass, which had cost her $92.99. However, her plea was met with rejection, leaving her in tears as she departed from the water park that day.

The mother invoked Georgia law, which unequivocally permits mothers to breastfeed their infants in any place where they are otherwise authorized to be. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, breastfeeding is legally protected in all 50 states, including Georgia, and 31 of these states do not include nursing as an offense under public indecency laws.

She pointed out that her attire—a one-piece swimsuit—provided more coverage to her breast than her son’s head, with her top pulled down just enough for him to feed without exposing anything indecent.

The overcrowded conditions at the park left her with limited alternatives for breastfeeding elsewhere.

Two days later, Steve Brown, the vice president of operations at Rigby’s Water World, reached out to apologize for the incident. He explained that the park had subsequently revised its breastfeeding policy and conducted legal training for its staff.

According to Brown, breastfeeding had always been permissible in other areas of the park. The policy that prohibited it in the river had been in alignment with health department guidelines that forbid eating or drinking in the pools.

He clarified that the mother had been invited to breastfeed on the pool deck, preferably in a shaded area on a lounge chair, and that she was never asked to leave the water park; rather, she chose to do so independently.

Brown admitted that the policy, as it stood, was a misinterpretation of the health code. He acknowledged the varying perspectives on the matter but emphasized the park’s commitment to abiding by the law.

In regards to her season pass, Brown affirmed that it would not be reinstated in accordance with Rigby’s policy.

The mother, in response, expressed her reluctance to return to Rigby’s, pondering over the park’s expectations and whether they expected her to simply acquiesce while they violated the law—an especially disheartening experience for a matter that mothers are often unjustly criticized for.

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