Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding is a fundamental human right. No one has the right to ask you to stop breastfeeding your child no matter where you happen to be. This includes restaurants, public pools, movie theatres and parks.

According to La Leche League International correspondents Elizabeth N. Baldwin and Kenneth A. Friedman, mothers have a right to breastfeed where they go with their baby, even if that is out in public. It does not matter whether the mother goes to a public or a private place, or even whether they are in a state with legislation. No one has the right to tell a mother how to feed her baby, especially a way that increases the risk of illness to both mother and baby! Legislation has been enacted in nearly one-half of the states in the U.S. because they want to clarify this right, and in some cases, provide a remedy for mothers told to stop breastfeeding. It is hoped that legislation will help to change society's attitudes that breastfeeding is something indecent and should not be done in public. The purpose of legislation is NOT to legalize it, but to clarify the fact the fact that women have the right to breastfeed in public, or that it is not a criminal offense, such as indecent exposure. Thus, if you are in a state that does not have legislation, you still have the right to feed your baby where you go.

If you feel that your rights have been violated, contact your Human Rights Commission at the provincial or state level.

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Breastfeeding in Public