Bristol mother, Alvis West celebrates victory in helping to reinforce new breastfeeding policy at local leisure centre, after efforts to challenge why breastfeeding in the pool should be 'against company policy.’
When asked to stop breastfeeding her 7-month year old son while in the pool at Kingswood Active Lifestyle Centre two months ago, Alvis West expressed to BristolLive her 'embarassment' to be told that it was 'against company policy' and 'unhygienic' to breastfeed in the children's pool.
"I’m quite a confident lady but it really embarrassed me as there were other people in the pool,” said Miss West. “When I’ve been out and about in restaurants or anywhere, I’ve never come across anyone being funny about me breastfeeding, so it took me by surprise,” she said.
After raising a complaint with the centre, Alvis was contacted later that day by the centre Manager Mr Hinam who was more than willing to listen to her concerns surrounding their current policy. Martyn Hinam responded to Miss West explaining that he 'didn't know why the policy was in place but that he was going to find out.'
Mr Hinam sought advice from external sources including children's charity Barnardo's, before instigating the rule changes to half a dozen swimming pools run by the Circadian Trust including Kingswood Active Lifestyle Centre.
Miss West expressed her appreciation for Mr Hinam's support to BristolLive, explaining that he had gone "above and beyond" to understand her position as a mother.
Mr Hinam said: “We are delighted we have been able to work proactively with Alvis and draw on her experience to give us a better insight into a very important, and potentially sensitive, area of customer service. What we want to ensure is that all our customers enjoy the experience of coming to an Active Lifestyle Centre as part of a healthy active lifestyle, whatever their circumstances.”
The other facilities which have introduced the new breastfeeding policy are in Bradley Stoke, Downend, Longwell Green, Thornbury and Yate.
Original story published via Bristol Live.