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Breastfeeding in Public: Breastfeeding and the Law (Part 2)

Written by Pathways Magazine   
Thursday, 01 June 2006 00:00
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Breastfeeding in public IS legal in the United States, though sometimes people simply don’t know it and therefore might complain about it. This means you can nurse your baby anywhere that you are allowed to be with your baby. About 20 states have passed laws that explicitly state this fact. These laws exist to clarify the legality of breastfeeding. Even if a state does not have such a clarifying law, breastfeeding in public is still legal.

If someone seems to be bothered by you nursing or asks you to leave, you can kindly remind the person that breastfeeding is legal, normal, and the best nutrition for the baby, or other facts about breastfeeding. If you have had problems with public breastfeeding and have been asked to leave malls, pools, restaurants, etc., or go to a restroom to nurse, or if you have had problems at workplace, report it to the National Alliance of Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA).

Besides nursing in public, other issues with legislation include a woman’s right to express milk at work and receive exemption from jury duty. Some states mandate that employers enable women to breastfeed. Even if you don’t have legislation behind you, you can do a lot to facilitate pumping breast milk at work. Breastfeeding.com has lots of information for working moms about breast pumps, pumping milk at work, milk storage, and dealing with the boss.

Another possibility is to introduce your employer to Mothers at Work program from LifeCare, Inc. Mothers at Work is the world’s leading workplace breastfeeding program that helps organizations create a supportive work environment and recruit and retain valued employees. It offers 24-hour pre- and postnatal lactation counseling, access to highquality breastfeeding equipment, educational materials, onsite breastfeeding classes, and other tools to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.