SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A mom says she was told to stop breastfeeding her baby at Seven Peaks Water Park in Salt Lake City. Now she's taking her fight to Facebook and the media, claiming the water park's policy against breastfeeding is unfair and even discriminatory.
Katie Buhler was approached by a Seven Peaks female lifeguard while she was breastfeeding her seven month old son. Buhler argues that she was not exposing her breast, but instead was discreetly nursing her child under a blanket. "I was so caught off guard, I didn't even know how to respond to it. That's why I ripped my blanket off and said I'm not nursing him," says Buhler.
Katie decided to stay at the pool despite the reprimand, but later she called and spoke to a water park manager.
"She told me that it's their policy and I said why, and she said this is a family friendly enviornment and we want to keep it that way," says Buhler.
According to Buhler, the Seven Peaks manager told her the options were to either leave the park, or to breastfeed her baby in one of their bathrooms. Buhler says both options are unfair and unrealistic. The mom of three kids goes on to say the water park bathrooms are unsanitary for the purposes of breastfeeding. "Water is all over the floor, there's no nursing room, nothing...so if they want me to go the bathroom, then they need to fix that."
Buhler and her husband Calvin took their fight online and soon received hundreds of supportive responses on their Facebook page. Within a day, they were able to organize a group to protest the issue. On Saturday, around 15 moms and their babies gathered outside Seven Peaks in Salt Lake to further their cause. The moms who came say they are outraged over the breastfeeding policy. "If they don't want nursing mothers exposed to the public, then they need to provide a quiet place for mothers to nurse," says Carol Buffi, a licensed clinical social worker and Buhler family friend.
ABC 4 tried to contact Seven Peaks management about their policy, but have still not heard back from them. In the meantime, Buhler says unless management changes the policy, she will refuse to swim at Seven Peaks.