Breastfeeding Coalition to host nurse-in at Kingsport Aquatics C - WSPA.com

Breastfeeding Coalition to host nurse-in at Kingsport Aquatics Center

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KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) -

Days after allegedly being told to stop breast feeding in the lazy river at Kingsport Aquatic Center, Gratia Cash told News Channel 11 she's received both praise and criticism.

Recently, the BABE Breastfeeding Coalition of Northeast Tennessee decided to begin planning a public event in support of Cash.

"We were actually contacted by a mom who was just concerned for Gratia and wanted to show her support for Gratia and her cause. And she said lets organize a nurse-in," said BABE President Jilian Reece.

The nurse-in event entails breastfeeding moms from across the Tri-Cities, going to the aquatic center and openly nursing their children.

But some people said, while breastfeeding is very beneficial to babies, breastfeeding in a public pool could be harmful.

"The safety issue with breastfeeding in the water in the pool, is that there are children of all ages, with varying degrees of hygiene, bladder and bowel control; we don't want to risk getting pool water into that baby's mouth," said Dr. Luella Guzman.

But Cash disagrees.

"If I was concerned about the pool water bring dirty, I wouldn't have gotten him in the pool in the first place,” said Cash.

Cash said she was doing what she thought was right at the time and claims the law is on her side. Attorney Thomas Gray agreed.

"If their policy is that they are open to mothers and to children, then the statute controls. But if you're inviting mother and they're young children into your public accommodation the statute says that you must allow the mother to breastfeed," said Gray.

The nurse-in is scheduled for July 11th at Kingsport Aquatic Center.

Gratia Cash said she sent the aquatic center a letter further expressing her concerns, but has not received a response yet.

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