Breastfeeding mom kicked out of YMCA locker room for bizarre reason

May 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: Getty Images/Royalty Free /

I can't decide what's worse: booting a breastfeeding mom for feeding her baby in a women's locker room, or the other reason the employee gave for telling the mom she had to leave.

Sometimes I can sort of understand why some people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding. People have all sorts of wacky hang-ups and some people aren't as enlightened as other people and even though I think women should be able to breastfeed wherever they want, whatever time they want and whatever situation they are in (well, except driving. Or while they are performing brain surgery), I can sort of understand the point of view of some people who are made uncomfortable by it. That doesn't mean I think they ever have the right to tell a woman to stop feeding her baby. Or where she can feed her baby. Or to tell a woman to leave a women's locker room while she is feeing her baby, which is what happened at this YMCA in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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According to the news report from Fox17, Emily Walcott was feeding her 3-month-old daughter in the women's locker room and an employee asked her to leave. Walcott thought the employee was joking at first, but obliged. When she started to question the employee, the reason she gave for not wanting Emily to feed her daughter in the women's locker room was almost too strange to believe: 

"After I started questioning (the staff member) about it, she said (the baby) wasn’t allowed to be fed in there because she was under 18 and she could look at other women in there that were naked," said Walcott.

Yes, because a 3-month-old shouldn't see naked people. I'm not sure how many of you have had a 3-month-old, but do you know what they look at when they are breastfeeding?

Their mom's skin.

I love Emily's reaction in the video because she's all "Wait….. whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?"

The YMCA did release this statement after this incident, so good for them: 

"As an association that promotes health and well-being, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids supports the decision of mothers to breast feed their child in locations in our facilities in which they feel comfortable," said Ritz. "We continue to educate our staff members about this commitment. We are working to address this report as it is not reflective of YMCA values."

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Hopefully the employee is educated on company policy and breastfeeding laws.