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'Nurse-in' held at La Fitness after mom was told to breastfeed in the bathroom

'Nurse in' at La Fitness
'Nurse in' at La Fitness

La Fitness is in hot water again. We told you earlier how folks were upset when the gym kicked out a mom who was simply working out with her son, because she also happened to be a trainer.

Now, the fitness chain is gaining negative attention for telling a mom she had to go to the bathroom to breastfeed. On Monday, the mom's facebook page was "blowing up" with people angry and showing their support.

Two dozen angry mothers with babies in hand, staged a "nurse-in" Friday outside the doors of the Oceanside fitness club that Monique Golueke she couldn't nurse in the locker room.

She told 10News, "I'm just still really hurt."

Goleuke said both her boys were in the gym's "kids club" until a staff member approached her to say they weren't settling down. She took her 2-year-old and 9-month-old boys into the locker room to breastfeed the baby.

She says, "I was approached by an employee who had told me there was a complaint, and that children were not allowed in the locker room. There was no sign telling me children were not allowed. I was just nourishing my baby in the locker room, an appropriate place -- so I thought -- and I was asked to leave."

Golueke said she was sent to a restroom in the kids club area, where the only place to feed her baby was while sitting on the toilet.

"If you're going to have an establishment that provides child care, you need to be accommodating to nursing mothers," said Golueke.

"It's really sad that stuff like this pops up every now and again," said Christine Zell, a certified lactation educator. "I mean, a mother should not be expected to breastfeed in a bathroom, it's not sanitary, and it's just disgusting."

Jill Greuling, Vice President of Operations for LA Fitness, sent this statement to 10News:

"We support the right of women to breastfeed in our facilities. When Mrs. Golueke voiced her intention to do so to one of our staff, she was offered space in the Kids Klub or, as an option, the separate restroom within the Kids Klub and a chair if she wanted more privacy. The staff member initially spoke to Mrs. Golueke to let her know that children are not allowed in the locker room area. This conversation occurred because another member observed her in the locker room with small children and reported it to us. As Mrs. Golueke left the club, she spoke to the club General Manager about her workout. No one was aware that Mrs. Golueke was upset until she called our customer service line."

The California Department of Public Health says notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present.

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