A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Become a Badass Public Breastfeeder in 7 Days: Day 7 – Know Your Rights

971538_603901836343999_326644191_nCongratulations! You have made it to the last day of How to be a Badass Public Breastfeeder in 7 Days! This course will end with a summary of laws protecting breastfeeding in public and a list of breastfeeding resources for you to have on hand anytime you need them.

Breastfeeding is not a lifestyle choice. It is a public health issue.

Breastfeeding in public is not a privilege. It is a civil right.

 

Breastfeeding and the Law

You are very unlikely to have a problem breastfeeding in public. I know this happens to women and I know it gets a lot of attention in breastfeeding circles, but the reality is that the chances of it happening to you are slim. Having said that, I believe strongly that being informed and prepared is a huge factor in feeling confident about our decisions. You are smart. I know this because you are here reading, you are open to information, you want to know more. Another misconception about women is that we can’t learn and stand up for ourselves. You and I both know this is garbage.  When you learn and become informed you are empowered at a level that makes it difficult for people to take advantage of you. Today I will discuss your legal rights when it comes to breastfeeding in public and provide links to detailed descriptions of the law in your local area.

It is always good to know your rights when it comes to anything at all, but it’s particularly important to know about laws on breastfeeding in public. These laws are wildly misunderstood by many people that they can lead to further harassment. For example, telling women that breastfeeding in public is actually illegal in their state! The thing that has been put in place to protect us is being used to harass and control us. Knowing the details of the law is the best defense in the very unlikelihood that you will have problems breastfeeding in public.

You have the right to breastfeed your child in public. Don’t let anyone tell you different. There are different laws depending on the state you live in, but there is nowhere that you can get in trouble for breastfeeding in public. In fact, there are laws in place that make it illegal for you to be asked to stop. These laws are in place, but they are not the kind of laws that lead to arrests. If someone asks you to stop breastfeeding, that person is breaking the law, but he or she cannot be arrested or charged. Don’t feel discouraged though; incidents are being reported all the time and breastfeeding laws across the nation are changing drastically. The consequences for businesses and others who harass breastfeeding mothers may not be swift justice, but the climate is changing. For example, some cities are passing laws to make it possible for women to file lawsuits against businesses that harass them. The more you breastfeed in public and the more we talk about this, the faster these things will change. YOU have the power to make change by simply breastfeeding in public.

**Disclaimer** Breastfeeding laws are lacking, but if someone touches you without your permission or even places a blanket over you without your consent then they have committed criminal battery against you and this is illegal. You should contact the police immediately and move to safety. I do not expect you to engage in any situation that is dangerous or even uncomfortable. We are in this together and this is a process.

Here are two links that explain in detail the laws protecting breastfeeding and details on the laws in your state.

http://breastfeedinglaw.com/

http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx

 

I feel that this is truly a feminist issue. Laws come to fruition when a group of people feel that they are being held back from fulfilling an important part of their life as a citizen of society. I believe that telling women that they cannot breastfeed in public is a way to control women. It is a tactic of oppression. It is a tool to keep women from having control of their own lives and decisions. I hope that this course has helped you feel empowered to take to the streets and breastfeed your child when your child needs it. I hope that you have gained confidence in yourself as a woman, a mother and a citizen. Every time that you breastfeed in public you help normalize it. Normalizing breastfeeding for men, women and children is important for society. It will help more women choose breastfeeding for their babies. It will help the incidents of harassment decrease. It will help society learn that women are extremely dynamic, valuable and powerful. You are a Badass Breastfeeder. You and your baby are going to change the world.

When you are breastfeeding in public and have positive experiences, which you will have, consider writing letters of praise or complimenting the establishment. Positivity breeds positivity. This establishment will take pride in their great customer service and be more likely to treat the next breastfeeding mother positively as well.

If you encounter a negative experience please be sure to report this to the Best of Babes Foundation at their NIP Hotline 1-855-NIP-FREE! http://www.bestforbabes.org/announcing-1-855-nip-free-the-best-for-babes-nursing-in-public-harassment-hotline

You can also report an incident and organize a nurse-in at this link. http://www.nursingfreedom.org/p/action-center.html#call

 

**This course is geared primarily toward people in the United States, but my message about empowering yourself through knowing your rights stands for women all around the world. Most countries have laws protecting women breastfeeding in public. I encourage you to research these and become informed.

 

The Badass Breastfeeder can be found at

Facebook.com/TheBadassBreastfeeder

Blog www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com and www.breastfeedingbasics.com

Twitter @BAbreastfeeder

Youtube  BadassBreastfeeder

 

More breastfeeding and parenting resources can be found here.

 

NIP related reading:

LLLI | Breastfeeding in Public

Nursing In Public

Elizabeth Lee Designs: Tips for Breastfeeding in Public

Not a Fan of Nursing In Public? Suck on This

Six Tips to Braving Breastfeeding in Public

5 Places Where Breastfeeding is Certainly Inappropriate…

Breastfeeding in public | womenshealth.gov

The Breastfeeding Mother: Breastfeeding In Public

10 Tips for Breastfeeding in Public–With Confidence! | Native Mothering™

10 tips for breastfeeding in public

Analytical Armadillo – The Booby Whisperer: Tips for breastfeeding in public if you feel self-conscious

Analytical Armadillo – The Booby Whisperer: Let’s do breastfeeding covers

Analytical Armadillo – The Booby Whisperer: breastfeeding in public is offensive – see for yourself!

Every argument against NIP debunked – newly expanded! – The Debate Team

Random Rantings of a Tattooed Mummy: It is fine to be offended by public breastfeeding…

Why Children Should see Mothers Nursing in Public Nursing In Public

Breastfeeding Basics: Nursing in Public 

Why Children Should Witness Breastfeeding in Public ~ Nursing Freedom

PhD in Parenting – PhD in Parenting – Covering up is a feminist issue

peaceful parenting: Breastfeeding in Public: A Christian Father Speaks Up

The Breastfeeding Mother

Random Ramblings of a Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Cloth Diapering, Not So Hippy Momma!

 

 

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