So you want to know...
Is it legal to breastfeed in public?
Currently it is legal to breastfeed in public in 44 states. Breastfeeding is allowed in any public or private place as long as the mother and her child have a right to be there. There is an exception for private residences. Someone can tell you not to breastfeed in their home.2
- Tennessee law protects breastfeeding in public only of a child 1 year old or younger.1
- Virginia law states a right to breastfeed on state-owned property only. 1
You don't have to cover, but most people choose to.
How is breastfeeding in public different from indecent exposure?
Indecent exposure has a different purpose. Breastfeeding is not about exposing yourself; it's about feeding your baby.
Does my boss have to allow me to breastfeed at work?
Employers are required to provide "reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk" for 1 year.3 Breastfeeding at work, however
depends mostly on whether your employer allows children at work.
Where can I breastfeed in public?
Anywhere the mother and child are allowed to be. We suggest calling restaurants a head of time to request a booth or quiet area. See how accommodating the place is willing to be before you go. For Moms new to breastfeeding we suggest looking for "family areas" in malls and certain stores until you feel more confident breastfeeding in public. Most Nordstroms have a dedicated nursing lounge in the women's restroom away from the changing tables, often called the Mother's Room.
What locations should I avoid while breastfeeding in public?
It's best to find a place where you feel comfortable breastfeeding and avoid smoky places. Also avoid breastfeeding in a moving car. Both Mom and baby need to be strapped in properly while a car is moving.
Can I breastfeed on an airplane?
Yes, and babies need to nurse during take off and landing. It helps equalize pressure in their ears to reduce ear-aches.
Do I have to go to a room designated for nursing?
No, breastfeeding mothers can feed their little ones anywhere that the mother and child can legally be.
Watch Our: "Public Breastfeeding And The Law" video with Corky and Wendy for more information and to hear their personal experiences and stories.