Moms hold 'nurse-in' to educate people about breastfeeding laws

LAS VEGAS -- Dozens of moms held a peaceful rally Wednesday after one nursing mother was questioned about breastfeeding inside the Centennial Hills YMCA

It is called a "nurse-in," where groups of moms gather in a public place to breastfeed their babies.

Nevada law says breastfeeding in any public place is legal. That includes any place they are authorized to be, including in or around a pool.

The moms at the rally say the nurse-in called Operation Feed the Babies is about education and awareness.

Nikola Samson was questioned at Garside Public Pool for breastfeeding.

"He told me that breasts were considered genitalia," Samson said, "I said I could breast feed any where I wanted to."

Charity Schneider was asked not to breastfeed at the Centennial Hills YMCA in the pool.

"She said, ‘Ma'am we were told that you were breastfeeding here and we were told that is not permitted," Schneider said. "I breast fed discreetly."

SLIDESHOW: Moms hold nurse in at Centennial Hills YMCA


The YMCA says they are now training all staff and hope to be an example to others.

"I think what we've learned through this experience is that one: we'd love the opportunity to help educate moms on what their rights are so they feel comfortable and know when they can push back. Two: obviously very important for businesses like ours to make sure all of our employees understand what the law is," Cheryl Bella, the director of marketing and communications for YMCA of Southern Nevada, said.

Moms say it is about educating the entire community. Dozens of nursing mothers filled one hall of the YMCA to make a bold statement. Not with signs or chants, but their little bundles of joy.

"You want that freedom, that convenience of being able to breastfeed your baby whenever and wherever. We would never ask a grownup to feed in a toilet or a restroom right? So, why would we ever ask a mom to feed her infant in a closed-in, unnatural environment?" breastfeeding specialist at MountainView Hospital Elizabeth Price said.

It is a right Price says more moms should exercise, but these moms vow to educate everyone in the process.

"Our goal is really simple, it is just to raise awareness," Schneider said.

The city of Las Vegas that manages Garside Pool also said it has educated staff and want this to be a teaching tool.

Three years ago, a nurse in was staged at a Target store after a breastfeeding mom was questioned. Today, Target has a breastfeeding section inside stores.



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