L.A. Fitness sent a letter promising change to a Georgia mom after she was kicked out of a locker room for breastfeeding her son.
Caroline Hoffman was reportedly breastfeeding her 7-month-old son, who she had placed in a carrier and snuggled close to her body, when she was asked to leave, 11 Alive reports. Hoffman told the news station she was embarrassed by the request, despite even placing a drape over her son for discretion while she fed him.
According to L.A. Fitness, Hoffman was asked to leave because children aren’t allowed in the locker room. However, there are no signs that make that rule clear.
When she asked where she could breastfeed her son, she was told that she could use the bathroom in the kids club area. She was also given the option of using a chair near the front door.
“I was looking for a solution that would take me out of a disgusting bathroom stall and keep my breasts from being exposed to every member entering and exiting,” Hoffman told 11 Alive.
Hoffman then suggested that the gym place a chair in the children’s area, although she was told her request couldn’t be accommodated.
"They need to provide reasonable accommodation to their clients who choose heath and wellness for their baby by breastfeeding, and choose heath and wellness for themselves by being members of the gym," Hoffman said.
Following the experience, Hoffman took to Facebook and wrote about her experience. Other mothers took action and wrote on L.A. Fitness’s Facebook page in criticism of the gym's breastfeeding policy.
On Wednesday, Hoffman received a letter from L.A. Fitness' district manager:
What you had to go through yesterday was terrible. I am sincerely sorry your experience went the way it did. I have been made aware that since sending your email, you were contacted by the Operations Manager, Nima, in which he apologized for giving you wrong information.
To clarify - you (and every Mother) are permitted to breastfeed anywhere in the gym you would normally be. This includes the locker room and Kids Klub. I will ensure every staff member, at every gym, is educated on this policy to prevent any future occurrences of this nature.
Going forward we will also ensure there is a chair available in the Kids Klub for breastfeeding Mothers to utilize. Once again I apologize for the embarrassment you were put through. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or further concerns.
District Operations Manager
Photo Credit: Facebook, WSBTV