Monday, June 9, 2003

Center to clarify breastfeeding rule

By Andrea Uhde
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A rule prohibiting breastfeeding at the soon-to-open Florence Family Aquatic Center may be reworded after an angry response from some mothers.

The original rule, printed in a brochure for the center, indicated that all breastfeeding would be banned.

New wording may allow breastfeeding as long as the mother is covered, said Juley Lawson, the center's facility manager.

Today, Florence officials and Cincinnati Pool Management will meet to discuss the purpose of the rule and make it clearer, Lawson said.

The center opens Saturday.

There shouldn't even be a rule about breastfeeding, said Rebecca Drake, 32, of Florence, who has a 21-month-old and another on the way.

"I don't even think they really need to point it out to everybody," said Drake, a member of the Florence Moms club, who said she doubts if she'll join the center after reading the rule. "I think most women are very discreet when they nurse.

"You'll probably see more from skimpy bikinis down there than you will from a nursing mother."

The Florence Family Aquatic Center, on the campus of the Florence Government Center at 8200 Ewing Blvd., also has a rule against thong bikinis, and Lawson said she has been told not to allow people with "obscene or offensive" clothing into the facility.

Lawson, who works for Cincinnati Pool Management, brainstormed the regulations with Florence Parks and Recreation officials.

The policies were modeled after those at other area pools, she said.

Florence administrators have the final say.

"We need the opportunity to look at (the breastfeeding rule), address it and come to some kind of a way to accommodate everybody," said Diane Whalen, the mayor of Florence.


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