Please leave your breasts outside the pool area

I had to laugh at the most annoying article in the Ann Arbor News yesterday. Apparently, the Ann Arbor YMCA kicked some woman (Kelly Fuks?) out of the pool area for breastfeeding (on the pool deck). What was the reason? It was “distracting the lifeguards”. And what part of the pool policy did they cite? “No food or drink” in the pool area!


The YMCA’s programs director said that “all food and drink is forbidden and exceptions can’t be made for breastfeeding”, because food in the pool area is unsanitary. And if you can’t bring cans of coke or bags of potato chips in there, you sure as heck better not bring in breasts filled with breastmilk. I suppose along with forcing people to shower before entering the pool area, nursing woman could be forcd to “pump down” before swimming.

Fuks made an excellent point in saying that if their life guards are so distracted by a woman breastfeeding, that maybe they need better training or better lifeguards. She’s pretty sure that a young girl in a bikini is a bigger distraction to the teenage boy lifeguards than she is.

In all fairness to the Ann Arbor YMCA, they do allow breastfeeding in other parts of the building. Maybe near the snack machines?

Just too funny watching them trying to dig themselves out of this hole. Ann Arbor, Michigan is not the place to offend breastfeeding woman. You’d be better off cutting down trees in the park for firewood.


  1. Are you kidding me? No food or drink? This has to be a joke. Really? I expect a reversal in their policy by the end of the day.

  2. there was one of those situations in Colorado last summer (read here – the mom got a citation that was later voided for “exposing her genitals” .

  3. Pretty funny! Like you said…it will be interesting to see how they wiggle out of this.

  4. Oh my … I laughed my head off reading this. Can’t wait to see the “make it up to the public” press release after they think about this one.
    At a mall once (circa 1997), I was asked to not breastfeed my son on a bench in a quiet area of the mall … the very scary female security guard told me it might be better to go to my car. I was so dumbfounded that I pretended I didn’t speak English and kept on feeding …

  5. the food or drink bit is a riot. where do you find this stuff, or better yet, where do you find people to come up with silliness like this. ann arbor, obviously…

  6. That is just plain silly! Well, not so silly for the Ann Arbor Y when 500 moms show up for a “nurse-in”

  7. That makes me want to run to the Ann Arbor Y amd whip out a boob – just for spite.

  8. OMG this was so funny it made me cry! And the comments just plain old made my stomach hurt from laughing so much – I’m with Beth! ROFL!!!

  9. OMG, that’s too funny. It almost makes me want to get a membership to the Y after the baby is born just to breastfeed in the pool area.

  10. LOL – that does it – no swimming for me! Sounds like as good an excuse as any!

  11. Now see, I’m confused by your view point on this one…According to the no food or drink rule, a bottle feeding mother wouldn’t have been able to feed their child here either.

    If we, as lactivists, are going to fight for the right to breastfeed anywhere that a mother could bottlefeed, then is this incident really the right one to be pitching a fit about?

    Are we looking for special rights?

    Or, have we latched on to Ms. Fuk’s quote that she was told her nursing was “a distration?”

    If we are, I see reason to be outraged, but consider the Y’s point of view.

    From the very beginning they have stated that the distraction was the fact that the lifeguards had to take the time to go to Ms. Fuks and explain the rules. Not that they were distracted by seeing her nurse.

    I’m just not so sure that we aren’t hearing a sensationalized piece of a news about a woman that was reminded that there was NO eating in the pool area and got upset because she didn’t want to have to deal with taking her other child out of the pool long enough to feed her baby.

    If that’s the case here, I think we do a disservice to our cause to pitch fits about it.

  12. Please. I don’t want the same rights as bottle feeding moms…I want the right to breast feed anywhere I please (when I’m actually lactacting of course…now would be just wrong…unless you’re into that sort of thing Jon)

  13. Oh no! You’ll have to keep us updated on this crazy story!

  14. Jennifer,

    You seem to think that by reading the comments made by Diane Carr to the Ann Arbor News that you know the whole story. Well, you don’t.

    When Kelly first spoke to Diane on the phone to ask why she was told at the front desk it was ok and then embarassed by a lifeguard who later told her to stop, Diane told her that breastfeeding by the pool was “… a distraction to the young lifeguards.” Yes, I was there holding Ansley and helping Max finish dinner when this conversation took place. The “food and drink” excuse was never mentioned until the media got involved.

    So shut up if you please.

  15. Oooh. Oooh. Food fight!!!