Stephanie Ellingson-Buchanan, a mom of four from Mora, MN, is completely outraged after she and her sister-in-law had the police called on them for breastfeeding at the local pool. She explained how the situation unfolded in a Facebook post — and thankfully, tons of people have her back.
"Mora Aquatic Centre lost my business forever today," she wrote. "They called the police on me and my sister-in-law for nursing our babies in public. I wasn't flashing them around, nobody saw any nipple, there were other moms there nursing their babies, and LOTS of other women showing more skin than me."
According to Stephanie, all it took was one woman to complain to the management for the authorities to be called — despite the fact that breastfeeding in public is completely legal in Minnesota.
"Minnesota state law protects mothers doing their natural God-given right to feed their babies," she said. "Therefore, I could not get charged with anything but the Mora pool said that if I was not going to feed my baby in the locker room, that as a private business they reserve the right to ask me to leave."
"I don't expect any grown adult to go eat in the locker room."
Rather than giving in and heading into the locker room, Stephanie stood her ground and decided to leave the pool.
"I am in complete awe over how I as a mother was treated here," said Stephanie. "I don't expect any grown adult to go eat in the locker room and I'm not going to remove the other children I have with me to go sit in the locker room while I feed my baby. It's absolutely disgusting and maddening that this is how this establishment treats moms!!!"
As if the situation couldn't get any worse, the Mora Aquatic Centre issued an apology — that is
totally half-assed woefully insincere by all accounts:
The City of Mora and Mora Aquatic Centre (MAC) strive to create an environment comfortable for all. While we always have supported nursing mothers, the situation inside of the kiddie pool made many patrons uncomfortable. Our staff politely asked them to be more discrete or relocate to another area at the MAC. When they did not, it created an untenable situation and our public safety team was brought in to assist the MAC staff. Neither women were asked to leave the facility. We apologise to Ms. Ellingson-Buchanan and Ms. Davis if they were offended by how they were treated. Although we cannot anticipate all possible scenarios, City policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary.
Stephanie is hoping to make the most of her terrible experience by ensuring other moms don't go through the same humiliation. She staged a successful nurse-in next to the pool in question on July 21 and is already planning a second one for Aug. 1 to make her point. "Hey everyone we really appreciate all the support and love, it is really important to us to spread awareness for this issue," she wrote on her Facebook page.
And by the looks of the comments section in Stephanie's initial post, other people are beyond supportive of her efforts to destigmatize breastfeeding. Scroll through to see just how many parents have Stephanie's back.