THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BREASTFEEDJun 13, 2014
Breastfeeding in public is always a topic on my mind. It's not that I think of this on a daily basis but, so many women I come in contact with or that come in contact with me always seem to have a story or question about this topic. I also struggled with this with my first child. Not knowing any better and listening to people give me negative comments. I've heard everything from I had to hide, to "I was kicked off of a plain" and even stories of people telling a mom she was disgusting. I get questions like, well how much milk should I take out with me to feed the baby because I can't nurse when i'm out? I can't nurse in public, my husband does not want me to. I feel embarrassed.. Is this the type of society we want to raise our daughters in? To continue being afraid of naturally feeding their baby? To be ashamed of nurturing their child.. To be ridiculed for their constitutional right to breastfeed! I think not.. These moms should not have to go through such stress on a daily basis. They should be aware of their rights. Each state has different laws when it comes to breastfeeding. Regardless of state law, it is a constitutional right to breastfeed your baby where ever you are. Keep in mind that this constitutional right may not apply to a mother who is breastfeeding in a private location, such as a store or restaurant. And although there are some other legal issues upon which the right to breastfeed can be based (discrimination laws, equal protection, etc.), breastfeeding legislation is the best way to clarify the right that women have - to feed their babies where they choose to. Women have a constitutional right to breastfeed, and no one has the right to discriminate or segregate against breastfeeding mothers. Although, some states initially considered limiting a mother's right to breastfeed, while considering legislation that would clarify a mother's right to breastfeed in public. The best way to help support this matter is to stay informed of legislation in your state, you can support by contacting a local legislator, and find out if they might be interested in sponsoring a breastfeeding bill. Help to get information out to the community about the bill. Encourage positive, informative letters to legislators, rather than angry, upset letters. Nurse-ins, demonstrations, or other activities that might appear fanatical hinder rather than help with this. However, rallies where reputable speakers and breastfeeding information is distributed can help to educate everyone about the importance of breastfeeding. The most important way to support breastfeeding in public is when you do see a mom nursing smile and let her know. This simple gesture tells her, "hey mom your doing a great job"..