HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia water park is starting to feel the heat after a mother claims she was told to leave while she was breastfeeding her child.
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In a lengthy Facebook post, a woman named Tiffany Francis shared her experience while visiting Rigby’s Water World in Warner Robins on Friday.
The mother said that her family, including her 11-month-old son, were getting ready to go into the lazy river to help lull her son to sleep.
Francis said that as her son was latched on to feed, a lifeguard told her, “Ma’am you can’t breastfeed in the lazy river.”
Francis said that at first, she thought it was a joke. But moments later, she says the lifeguard called someone on his radio who told reiterated that breastfeeding wasn’t allowed and that the rules were posted at the front of the park.
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In an attempt to clear up some confusion, Francis said she requested to speak to a water park manager, who allegedly told her it’s a “courtesy to others to not feed her son.” The mother states that her breast wasn’t exposed and that her son’s face covered everything.
Francis says she tried to get a refund for her season pass but was told no. She states that she left crying because her son needed to take a nap and she was not allowed to lull him to sleep in the lazy river. Francis said she had seen other children laying their heads on their mother’s chest and her situation looked just like theirs.
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According to the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, Georgia law states that a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.
Steve Brown, the Vice President of Operations of the water park, responded to Francis’ post, saying that, in light of the incident, the park has changed its policies.
Read the full statement HERE:
“After reviewing other cases on this subject and conducting a survey among other aquatic professionals. There were some good arguments for and some good arguments against allowing it. However, going forward, I will not prevent breastfeeding mothers from nursing their child in the pools at Rigby’s Water World. Even though it could be considered by many to not be the best practice, mothers have the right to breastfeed their child wherever they chose. It has always been common practice on the pool deck, but now it is allowed in the pool if a mother chooses. I would like to apologize to Tiffany for asking her to not breastfeed in the pool and, by that, not creating the best experience for her today. I will send a memo to our team to let them know the change to this policy. I would like to thank those of you who conducted yourselves in a positive way to shed light on the subject. Sincerely.”
As of July 19, there are no rules listed on the website that specifically pertain to breastfeeding, although the park does say food and drink are not allowed within 10 feet of the water areas.
Channel 2 Action News has reached out to the park for any further comment. Officials with the park said they have no further comment at this time.
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