Breastfeeding mum told milk could contaminate swimming pool

By Harata Brown

If you're a breastfeeding mother, you may want to take note of this.

Angella Smith was breastfeeding at Hanmer Thermal Springs when she says she received an insulting response by a member of staff and the manager.

“They didn't like me breastfeeding my child in the pool. That was their main concern,” says Smith.

She was breastfeeding her youngest child Koare while sitting on the steps but in the water. It was up to her waist at the time when she was approached by a staff member.

“They said that if some of my breast milk was to drip in to the water, that the milk would contaminate the pool. I said, only a small drop will come out if that was the case. Hanmer Springs told me that that was the food and drink policy.”

On their travels, her and her children stopped in at Hanmer Springs. She decided to breastfeed young Koare in the water but on the steps of the pool while she supervised her other children who were swimming in the pool.

Hanmer Springs couldn't be reached for comment.  Their website, however, promotes their pools as "the ultimate place to unwind" and a place of fun for children of all ages. But it makes no mention of a ban on food and drinks in their pools.

Angella is an expert on baby care and she believes that all mothers should be able to breastfeed anywhere, anytime and hopes the incident will highlight the need for policy changes at Hanmer Springs.