So There Are Laws About Breastfeeding?

26 April 2012 / 2 comments

It might seem silly, but there have been laws passed in order to protect mothers who are or want to breastfeed their baby. Some of these laws will vary from state to state, but there are a few of them that are widely accepted in every state. Some of the laws seem basic and common sense, but they had to be stated in government documents so that a mother had the right to breastfeed or express milk in work situations and even in public.

Laws from State to State

  • Some states have more aggressive breastfeeding rights campaigns, while others simply have a few basics on the boards in order to keep mothers happy and feeding their infants in public. These laws aren’t meant to shock non-breastfeeding people, but allow for mothers to have the right to certain conditions for breastfeeding.

Private Area To Feed At The Work Place

  • One example that is common throughout the US is that a workplace has to provide a clean and private area for a mother to use a breast pump while she is at work. She must also be allowed to use it throughout the day, without interruption or harassment. domain archive This might be a private office, a bathroom or a room meant specifically for mothers who nurse or breastfeed. The room needs to be private and sterile. Private means that the door can be shut, there are no windows or else curtains or blinds that can be closed and there is no foot traffic through. Simply telling a woman to go in to a public room to use a breast pump is not acceptable for a workplace.

You Cannot Be Discriminate Against!

  • A woman cannot be discriminated against if she needs to pump. This means if she is following a typical pumping schedule and not taking advantage of a situation, she cannot be reprimanded at work or have her job taken away and given to someone else. Breastfeeding is considered a temporary medical condition and the care of that condition includes frequent sessions with a breast pump.  An employer cannot dictate how long a woman continues to breastfeed.

Laws In Public Areas To Nurse

  • There are also ruled created to allow for mothers to nurse in public areas if it is necessary. For example, on public transportation methods like the subway, bus or even ferry, a woman might have to nurse a crying infant. If she covers herself, nursing is allowed on the seat, wherever she sits. She will not be arrested for indecent exposure or any other law involving public exposure.

breastfeeding in public

  • Other laws were made to protect mothers from being sued for breastfeeding in a public place, like a mall or a restaurant. There are very few cases where a woman chooses to nurse in public, let alone do so with cover, and the laws were meant to protect her when she does need to. Most often, people don’t even know that an infant is under a blanket and being nursed in public. However, there are some people that think that even though mother and baby are covered, they shouldn’t be allowed to do so in public. These laws allow them the right to do so, with a cover so they cannot be sued by an individual.

Even though breastfeeding is a natural act, there are some people who are squeamish and don’t like to see or know when a woman is doing it. The laws were passed to allow a woman the right to breastfeed in public, with a cover so that the baby gets to eat whenever it needs to without the mother worrying about getting home in a hurry. Laws don’t force a woman to breastfeed or perform it in a way other than providing adequate cover while doing so.


Written by Stefanie Prinkles

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