Breastfeeding Mom Causes Uproar At Water Park

Park Apologizes For Asking Mom To Cover-Up Or Go Somewhere Else

There's controversy over breastfeeding at a local water park.

The incident at the kiddie pool at Pirates Cove in Englewood is causing an uproar among breast-feeding advocates. They are planning a "nurse in" protest on Friday outside the front entry of the park.

Advocates argue moms have a legal right to breast-feed anywhere. Then there are those who say breast-feeding in a public pool is not the place.

"It's not sexual in any way," said Charlotte Dirkes of Alamosa. "You can ask any breast-feeding mother, and it's very unsexual."

On Sunday, Dirkes decided to breast-feed her 10-month-old son, Cillian, in the kiddie pool at Pirates Cove. That prompted complaints from some guests.

"The staff asked that I stop, cover up or go somewhere private because of complaints," she said.

Samantha Walker is a mom and a breast-feeding advocate.

"It really infuriated me when I heard about it," said Walker. "The law is clear. We can nurse where we want to nurse."

But some argue Dirkes could have breast-fed somewhere other than the kiddie pool, out of respect for others. Dirkes said she breast-fed in the pool to keep an eye on her older children.

"If you're not prepared to have tough conversations with your children, maybe you should rethink parenting," she said.

The story has now gone viral on the web. "With Facebook and social media -- it took off," said Walker. About 20 moms are planning a "nurse-in" protest.

"When you go to the pool, you see all these girls walking around in really, really tiny bikinis, and they're never asked to cover up. But, if you see a mother trying to nurse a child, we're most likely asked to cover up," said Walker.

For its part, Pirates Cove issued an apology to the breast-feeding mom and said it would use this as a valuable training lesson for staff.

The "nurse-in" is planned for Friday morning. Protestors said they will be civil, but plan to breast-feed near the front entry.

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