A British mother who was ejected from a swimming pool while breastfeeding her baby claims she was the victim of discrimination and is suing the aquatics centre for $38,000.
Abbie Stocker, 28, and a self-described “vegan lactivist”, was feeding her eight-month-old son in a wave pool when a lifeguard at Pendle Wavelengths in Lancashire intervened.
With the wave pool in full flow, the lifeguard was concerned for the pair’s safety and provided a chair at the side of the pool for Ms Stocker to sit and breastfeed, South Wales Evening Post reports.
Ms Stocker then began arguing with the lifeguard, before fleeing with her son Eric to the changing rooms, witnesses said.
Several weeks after the incident, which occurred in May last year, Ms Stocker filed a $ 38,237 lawsuit against Pendle Wavelengths.
“The way they handled it was not positive. They could have learned from it but they chose not to,” said Ms Stocker, who still breastfeeds her three-year-old daughter.
Under the United Kingdom’s equality laws, it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place.
“Breastfeeding women are no different to a disabled person or a person of a different nationality in the way you can’t discriminate against them,” Ms Stocker said.
Pendle Wavelengths have not commented on the case, but the centre has various public signage supporting breastfeeding at the venue.