This past weekend, another unfortunate incident occurred in which a nursing mother was mildly harassed, this time at a local area pool. Local news reports and the pool's Face Book page report that a mother was observed nursing at the pool and some patrons complained about her feeding her child. Pool staff "offered" the mother a private, air-conditioned area in which to feed her child, mentioning that people had complained, and she declined. She was not asked by staff to leave the pool area. She did complain to management about her treatment and the City of Aransas Pass has apologized to her.
It was wholly inappropriate for representatives of the City of Aransas Pass to try to pressure this mother into hiding while she fed her child by telling her that people were complaining. It was also wholly inappropriate for them to nosy in and make "suggestions" to a grown woman feeding her infant, who would have asked if she had needed any accommodation. This mother should have been left alone to take care of her child in peace and should never have been harassed for breastfeeding in public.
That said, I think the fact that the pool staff did not ask her to leave and that they have apologized publicly shows great progress in comparison to so many other similar incidents that unfortunately still happen in our communities. It is clear that the City of Aransas Pass understood that Texas law protects a mother's right to breastfeed in public. I think that, despite the unfortunate nature of the incident, it also shows progress.
We have more work to do to create a truly breastfeeding friendly culture, but maybe things are getting a little better.