By Adam Freedman
First, your daily dose of legalese: This podcast does not create an attorney-client relationship with any listener. In other words, although I am a lawyer, I’m not your lawyer. In fact, we barely know each other. If you need personalized legal advice, contact an attorney in your community.
Quick and Dirty Tips to the Rescue!
For this episode: a Quick and Dirty Tips extravaganza! Margarita -- lawyer, mommy, and Quick and Dirty Tips listener -- has written to us, asking for advice and information on breastfeeding in public. So this week – which happens to be World Breastfeeding Week – I’ll discuss a mother’s right to nurse in public; Mighty1 Mommy will offer practical tips for mothers who need to breastfeed in public, Modern Manners Guy will help mommies and non-mommies to be courteous2 to each other when the need for public breastfeeding arises, Nutrition Diva will tell all of those nursing moms what they should be eating, and the House Call Doctor will discuss the health benefits of breastfeeding and the latest medical guidelines on the topic
Is it a Mother’s Right to Breastfeed in Public?
A far as the legalities go, the short answer is that a mother’s right to breastfeed in public varies from state to state -- some states have strong laws protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public, but in others, public breastfeeding exists in a kind of legal limbo3 -- neither prohibited nor protected.
Breastfeeding Not Prohibited
The good news is that no state prohibits breastfeeding in public. According to experts, only two states put any restriction4 on public breastfeeding. In Missouri, the law requires that mothers nurse “as discreetly5 as possible” when doing so in public. Under Illinois law, although generally very supportive of