FILED IN: Social Issues

Breastfeeding mom says she was asked to leave women's only gym

Houston woman says, 'It's just a meal'

Penny Montgomery-Schlanser. Screenshot: KHOU-11

In a women’s only gym, where female nudity is certainly in abundance, it would be expected that the sight of a breastfeeding mother wouldn’t cause any consternation. Not so, says one Houston woman.

Penny Montgomery-Schlanser claims that she was asked to leave the Pure Fitness for Women gym after breastfeeding her infant son in a public area of the gym, reports KHOU-11.

Montgomery-Schlanser says the “top half of [her] chest was covered and [her son] was over the bottom half covering everything else.”

But Martha Velazquez, a co-owner of the gym, disputes Montgomery-Schlanser’s account, saying that the mom was simply asked to go to a different area of the gym instead of the “Kid’s Club” child care area. She added that an 11-year-old boy was in the area while Montgomery-Schlanser was feeding her baby.

In a statement to the station, the gym said, “We are responsible [in the Kid’s Club area] for both male and female children from the ages of three months to 12 years old. Without express, written consent from a parent or legal guardian of these minor children, we feel we do not have the right to dictate what the parent or guardian determines to be appropriate for their children.”

The statement added that similar situations has occurred “hundreds of times” at they gym and it “has never been an issue before.”

Montgomery-Schlanser responded, “It’s just a meal, that’s it… You don’t go eat a sandwich and put a blanket over your head.”