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Legoland corrects nursing policy after breastfeeding complaints from mothers

10:42 AM, Feb 3, 2012   |    comments
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Winter Haven, Florida -- The Legoland theme park in Winter Haven is considered a family-friendly place, well--not entirely, according to some moms.

"I've been nursing for 9 years I've never had someone try to make me move," said Kelly Sabourin, 39 of Pinellas County.

But that's what Kelly Sabourin, a mother of three, said happened on Friday Jan. 20.  Kelly said as she watched her kids play at one of Legoland's attractions she sat breastfeeding her 2-year-old daughter Keigin.

That's when Kelly said a Legoland employee walked up to her and her friend, Susan Williams, and told them they need to move.  

"I was shocked," said Susan. "I've never experienced first-hand someone being asked to stop nursing at a family-friendly place like Legoland." 

Kelly said after the park employee spoke to a supervisor, the employee stood by her side until she finished nursing.

Kelly said she has always been proud of nursing her children.

"She was blocking me from the rest of the room.  It's something I celebrate, I love doing with my child, and all of a sudden I'm being led to believe what I'm doing is shameful that I need to hide it in some room instead of making it a normal everyday thing especially when they're are using the phrase 'family-friendly place'".

That room Kelly mentioned is Legoland's Baby Care Center featuring a baby changing area, a place to warm bottles and store them and a kid-friendly bathroom.

"We allow breastfeeding moms to nurse anywhere throughout the park but we've created these nursing bays," said Legoland publicist Jacquelyn Wallace, as she pulled back a blue curtain to show one of four nursing bays for moms to use. "Each bay has a white rocking chair for mom, a foot stool, a small rocking chair for another child and an electrical outlet for charging phones or any other need."

Wallace said the message moms can nurse anywhere in the park got lost when sharing news of the new Baby Center with park employees.

"We had a lapse in communication," said Wallace. "We were actively promoting this facility to our employees to share with our guests. We failed to remind our employees our policy is to allow mothers to feed their children anywhere and however they choose."

Florida law 383.015 on Maternal and Infant Health Care states:

A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

When 10 News reporter Isabel Mascarenas made Legoland officials aware of what happened to Kelly, Wallace said they take 100 percent ownership of what happened. 

"We do apologize for making them feel uncomfortable. We want them to know we've taken every action to ensure the proper policy and Florida Statute been communicated to each and every one of employees," said Wallace.

Wallace said all employees from those on the front line to top management have been instructed on Florida's Breast Feeding Law.

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