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breastfeeding state laws
March 11th, 2016

Breastfeeding State Laws

Across our nation, there is a movement happening to increase breastfeeding awareness and education, but even with that some mommies are still ashamed of public breastfeeding, or even intimidated by the thought of unnecessary confrontation. Breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of; this is simply the most natural way to provide your baby with the best nutrition possible. Breastfeeding state laws are in place to back you up, and you have communal support as well.

Did you know you can breastfeed your child in a federal building? Your rights to nourish your child are protected by Federal Law, even inside federal buildings. Federal law also requires break time for nursing mothers, and stipulates the breastfeeding or pumping mother should be provided with a place (specified as other than a bathroom), free from intrusion from coworkers and public, shielded from view to express breast milk.

With health professionals and public officials promoting breastfeeding or pumping, you have a lot of communal support to breastfeed as well. Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands all have breastfeeding state laws that allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Seventeen states even exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty or allow jury service to be postponed! Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.  As well as twenty-seven states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have breastfeeding state laws related to the workplace. Five states and Puerto Rico have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign. Many communities also have education campaigns, and actively try to promote awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding to reduce negative backlash at mothers who are feeding their children in public places.

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