An Alabama mother has called out her local gym after being asked by a staffer to breastfeed in the bathroom because there was a man nearby.
Ruha Alford Tacey recently wrote about the incident on Facebook. According to Tacey, when she hit SportFit Athens on Sept. 11 for the first time since giving birth, her baby daughter struggled in the childcare room, so the new mom decided to breastfed the child to calm her down. When Tacey checked into the gym the next morning, baby in tow, the staffer at the front desk made the controversial request.
“’Hey, can I talk to you about something really quick?'” Tacey remembers the staffer saying. “‘In terms of feeding your child, when you need to do that, could you just use the restroom?'” Shocked, Tacey questioned why.
“’Well, we’re a family-friendly facility, you see, and yesterday while you were feeding her a man walked by the window,’” he responded.
Canceling her membership on the spot, Tacey wrote she was “bummed” by the episode. Further, she added that men shouldn’t feel ashamed to see women breastfeeding, and if the gym was truly family-friendly, they’d support it. The staffer initially responded by saying he wasn’t asking her not to breastfeed, but thought “a little discretion” was in order.
“It’s hard enough getting to the gym and trying to work out despite a child with lots of separation anxiety. I was sad!” she said of the encounter.