Title: A Breastfeeding Rights Victory: Rigby’s Water World Revises Policy
A story of breastfeeding discrimination at Rigby’s Water World provoked widespread uproar and resulted in a modification of their regulations.
The incident, which involved a nursing mother named Francis, emphasizes the difficulties that breastfeeding women encounter in public areas and the significance of protecting their rights.
Francis described an instance in which she was asked to stop breastfeeding her infant while in the water at a water park.
At first, she felt it was a bad joke, but she was horrified when a woman approached her and enforced the “no breastfeeding” ban after she had already begun nursing her child.
She tried to stop to be respectful, but once the baby latched on, it wasn’t easy.
Surprisingly, the water park’s rules contained no mention of children, save for the requirement that babies wear swim diapers, which Francis’s son promptly did.
She wanted to speak with a manager, frustrated and seeking clarity, only to be told, “No food or drinks in the water.”
Francis expressed her disappointment on social media, highlighting that her breast was out of the water when breastfeeding her infant, and the milk went directly into the baby’s mouth.
She questioned the priorities of a water park that appeared more concerned with breast milk than other human fluids in the pool. Her objective was not to eat in the water but to feed her infant, a natural and protected right.
Francis emphasized that the behavior was lawful and protected by Georgia law, which enables breastfeeding in any location where the mother and infant are authorized to be.
Notably, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, breastfeeding is allowed in all 50 states, including Georgia, with 31 not classifying it as public indecency.
Rigby’s Water World faced increasing pressure as the incident went viral, with many uniting around Francis to support her cause. Steve Brown, the water park’s vice president of operations, personally reached out to Francis two days after the event to apologize.
Rigby’s swiftly updated their breastfeeding policy and provided legal information to their employees regarding the situation.
According to Brown, breastfeeding had always been permitted in other areas of the park. He said their former policy, which prohibited breastfeeding in the river, was by the health department’s standards, which forbade eating or drinking in the pools.
However, Rigby’s decided to allow nursing in the pools after rethinking their position, consulting with aquatic facility specialists, and becoming aware of the law enabling breastfeeding everywhere women are permitted.
Brown accepted full responsibility for the “misguided” policy and acknowledged the legal misunderstanding. The incident inspired Rigby’s Water World to change its policy, allowing moms to nurse their newborns anywhere on the park grounds openly.
Despite the amended policy and the apology, the water park opted not to reinstate Francis’s seasonal pass, which she found disappointing and made her reluctant to return to Rigby’s.
The incident serves as a sharp reminder of breastfeeding moms’ difficulties in society, where some suffer discrimination and shame.
Francis’s support and the policy adjustments at Rigby’s Water World represent a step forward in recognizing and protecting the rights of breastfeeding women.
While this story has a happy ending, it shows the need for more breastfeeding rights awareness and education. Breastfeeding moms should be entitled to nurse their babies wherever they wish, and incidents like this highlight the significance of a more open and understanding society.
We promote a more loving atmosphere for women and their children by respecting and campaigning for breastfeeding rights.