Breast-feeding moms stage protest at Englewood Park
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — An Alamosa mother’s decision to breast feed her baby in the “kiddie” pool at Englewood’s Pirate’s Cove Water Park is causing quite a stir.
Charlotte Dirkes says she needed to breast feed her 10-month-old baby near the pool in order to keep an eye on her three other kids.
She says a park employee then approached her and asked her to go to a more private area because guests were complaining.
In a telephone interview Dirkes told us she was appalled by the treatment and adds, “Women feeding their baby at he pool while watching their other children like myself or giving their baby a bottle, that should be their right without feeling ashamed or guilty.”
Other moms who know Dirkes became outraged and set up a Facebook page to garner support from other women.
The result was a “Nurse-In” held Friday at the park.
Organizer Morgan Matthews says, “Most women who breast feed in public attempt to cover up, they maintain a level of modesty and we can do that without having to go to public restrooms.”
Other women at the protest say breast feeding is a natural thing that shouldn’t be hidden from children and is less damaging than the sight of scantily clad women who they see attending the park.
The City of Englewood, which runs the park, sent emails to the women apologizing for the treatment of Dirkes and stated that it acknowledges Colorado laws that give women the right to breast feed in public.
Protest organizers say they hope the event will spur improved employee training at family oriented facilities.