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Mother wants right to breastfeed in pool

Nov. 12, 2008 at 8:40 AM

NEWMARKET, Ontario, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- A Toronto-area woman claims her rights were violated when she was asked to stop breastfeeding while half immersed in a public swimming pool.

The incident happened Oct. 24 in Newmarket, northeast of Toronto, when 32-year-old Cinira Longuinho began breastfeeding her daughter while sitting midway down on steps of a pool so she could chat with swimming friends, the Toronto Star reported.

Ellie Karkouti, owner of the private AquaCenter Swim Pool, asked Longuinho to move to a changing room or the viewing gallery. Instead, Longuinho resumed swimming with her daughter and later fed her in the changing room, she said.

Meanwhile, she petitioned the Ontario Human Rights Commission to investigate the incident, the Star said.

Karkouti defended her actions, saying she is four months pregnant with her first child and wouldn't consider breastfeeding around a pool because of "people's pee and sweat and body stuff" in the water chlorine and chemicals don't kill.

"Am I ever going to stick my baby's mouth on a breast that's been in a pool without cleaning it (first)? Never, ever," she told the Star.

There was no word on when the rights commission would respond.

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