AT 32 weeks pregnant, Amanda Burch felt a bit self-conscious about her baby bump but still wanted to treat her daughter to a day out.
Together they visited the Pyramids Centre, Southsea, and Miss Burch, a former lifeguard, decided to cover her costume with a vest top.
But she was horrified when she was ordered to take the vest top off for ‘health and safety reasons’.
The 41-year-old said she was humiliated and confused when she spotted two other women who were allowed to swim despite being completely covered in clothes.
Miss Burch, from Great Copse Drive, Leigh Park, said: ‘I was a lifeguard for eight years so when I was told to take the vest off I knew it was nothing to do with health and safety.
‘I took it off anyway because I didn’t want to have an argument. The next moment two other women walked in with vests and full-length leggings.
‘I asked another lifeguard why they were allowed and he said it was on religious grounds.
‘He said the only way you were allowed to wear extra clothes was on medical or religious grounds. I was 32 weeks’ pregnant.’
Miss Burch put her top back on, only to be confronted again a short time later to be told she had to take it off for health and safety reasons.
She said: ‘I was totally humiliated and embarrassed. I wore it because even my tankini (large bikini) did not cover everything. The vest top is a maternity vest top. I know I’m not the first person this has happened to there.
‘This was very unfair.’
Gary Milne, the chief operating officer of The Pyramids said the policy is that only swimwear is permitted in the pools, with the sole exception being bona fide medical reason or on religious grounds.
Mr Milne said: ‘In these circumstances, the swimmer is made aware of the potential risks and even in these cases if the lifeguard is not satisfied that it is safe to continue, then they will not permit this. The swimmers’ safety is always the first concern.’
But he added that common sense needed to be used and Miss Burch’s situation seemed ‘perfectly reasonable’ and the incident will be investigated. He added: ‘We would like to apologise for any upset caused to Miss Burch.’