A Texas City mother said she was kicked out of a pool Sunday because she refused to cover up while breastfeeding her son.
Misty Daugereaux said she took her 10-month-old son, 4-year-old old son and 4-year-old nephew to the pool at the Nessler Park Family Aquatic Center in Texas City. The mother of two says her baby got hungry while they were in the kiddie pool so she began to breastfeed him.
“I had a slit down in my bathing suit so I kind of slid it over to the side and I put him on and I had my hand kinda covering the top of my skin and a lifeguard came from behind me a kind of leaned over my shoulder and was like ma’am are you breastfeeding? And I was like, 'Yes, as a matter of fact, I am,'” she said.
Daugereaux said minutes later a manager approached her, asked if she was breastfeeding and proceeded to tell her to cover up or leave the pool. She said the manager cited the center’s policy.
“She was just telling me she was requesting that I leave and then I said you can call whomever you need to call 'cause I’m not leaving for breastfeeding my son,” Daugereaux said.
The nursing mom said that’s when a Texas City police officer showed up and told her that the manager wanted her gone.
“I definitely didn’t want it upsetting the boys by getting arrested for really standing my ground or taking it to another level,” she said. “So I left with tears just pouring down my face as I walked out.”
What police said
The city of Texas City released a statement offering their apologies to Daugereaux. The statement went on to say city policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary. Any deficiencies regarding their employee’s actions will be addressed with further training.
A group of mothers with their young children met at the aquatic center Monday morning to throw their support behind Daugereaux and nursing mothers. Many of them could be seen nursing their own children. Angela Dunn, a mother and grandmother, was among the crowd holding a sign.
“I think it’s especially ironic that there are women in swimsuit tops that barely cover their breasts and it’s shameful to see a mother feeding her child? It doesn’t make sense,” Dunn said.
What the law says
The state’s Health and Safety Code, under Sec. 165.002. reads:
"A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be."
Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.