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Boobs in bikinis are ok, as long as you don't breastfeed

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Nursing mom harassed at Ohio water park

Maggie Bowen was visiting an Ohio indoor water park when she was approached by management and told to stop breastfeeding her 6-month-old son. Was the park in the right, or did they violate the law? Read on and find out the rest of the story.

Nursing mom harassed at Ohio water park

Maggie Bowen was visiting an Ohio indoor water park when she was approached by management and told to stop breastfeeding her 6-month-old son. Was the park in the right, or did they violate the law? Read on and find out the rest of the story.

Retiring to the back of the Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort in Columbus, Ohio, Maggie Bowen sat down to breastfeed her 6-month-old son. She was soon admonished by a park employee and told to cease nursing right away, as it wasn't allowed in the water park. Problem is, Maggie and every other breastfeeding mom in Ohio are specifically protected from harassment like this, as mothers are allowed to breastfeed in any public location they have the legal right to be.

"This has never happened to me before"

We got a chance to speak with Maggie about her experience. "I do choose to use a cover and be discreet when I breastfeed to avoid this exact situation," she told us. "I was absolutely stunned." Maggie wasn't even talked to while she was feeding her son -- the manager didn't approach her until her baby's dinner was done. "I didn't want to cause a scene in front of my 7-year-old step son because I felt going public with this story was a better example than getting into an argument with someone who was clearly breaking the law," she went on to explain.

"My kids don't need to see that."

Some people agree completely with the water park's actions. Adam, posting on the Fort Rapids' Facebook page, shared, "Glad I wasn't there! I wouldn't want my kids to see the woman's breast out for all to see. Why not just pump some out before you go and have enough to be prepared?"

Jamie from Ohio agreed. "It's gross!" he exclaimed. "Period! Peeing is a natural act but you can't go around peeing in public! If I was with my little boys and they saw a woman doing that, I would cause a bigger scene than her."

Bikinis show more boob than nursing

Other people felt that the water park was participating in extreme hypocrisy. "Less breast is showing during breastfeeding than in 90% of bathing suits seen at these places, regardless of what other covering the mother is using," said Amanda from Ohio. "The breast is covered by the baby's head, and in order to see anything 'inappropriate' one would have to be standing directly behind the mother, staring blatantly over her shoulder."

Too little, too late

Fort Rapids has issued several apologies, such as the following: "To our guests, and patrons: Once again, we would like to apologize to Maggie Bowen. We truly regret that she felt singled out. Fort Rapids will continue to abide by Ohio law in all matters regarding this issue."

Many moms, however, feel that it isn't good enough. A user on their Facebook page, Amy, asked. "What specifically will you do to make sure this doesn't happen again?" Amanda, another Facebook user, agreed. "This is a total non-apology," she explained. "I'm very saddened by Fort Rapids' response here. This mother deserves an honest apology, a refund of her entrance fee and a promise to train staff on how to respect breastfeeding mothers so that this does not happen to anyone else."

Vyky, mom of two, may have summed it up best. "It is my children's fundamental right to be fed when they are hungry," she said. "If that makes you uncomfortable, then feel free to avert your eyes."

More on breastfeeding in public

Target facing nurse-in after alleged harassment of breastfeeding customer
Michigan breastfeeding flash mob quickly dispersed
Is breastfeeding in public still unacceptable?

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