RIGHT TO LACTATE!

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEED MY BABY FROM MY BODY IN PUBLIC SPACES.

Find your state’s public lactation laws below:
COLORADO

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-6-301 (2004) recognizes the benefits of breastfeeding and encourages mothers to breastfeed.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-6-302 (2004) allows a mother to breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-13.5-102 and § 8-13.5-104 (2008) acknowledge benefits of breastfeeding and require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to two years after the child's birth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a toilet stall, for the employee to express breast milk in privacy.  The law also requires the Department of Labor and Employment to provide, on its website, information and links to other websites where employers can access information regarding methods to accommodate nursing mothers in the workplace.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-71-119.5 (2015) allows a person who is breastfeeding a child and is temporarily unable to or chooses not to leave the child in order to serve on a jury to be excused temporarily from service as a juror.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 44-10-203 (2019) requires the design of a warning sign for pregnant and breastfeeding women in medical and retail marijuana stores.

illinois

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 775 § 5/2-102 (1991) defines reasonable accommodations to include a private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk and breastfeeding.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 720 § 5/11-30 (1995) clarifies that breastfeeding of infants is not an act of public indecency.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 20 § 2310/442 (1997) allows the Department of Public Health to conduct an information campaign for the general public to promote breastfeeding of infants by their mothers. The law allows the department to include the information in a brochure for free distribution to the general public.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 20, § 1305/10-25 (1997) states that the department of health may include a program of lactation support services as part of the benefits and services provided for pregnant and breastfeeding participants in the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 820 § 260 (2001, 2018) creates the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act.  Requires that employers provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to employees who need to express breast milk. The law also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk in privacy. The law also prohibits employers from reducing an employee’s compensation for time used to express milk or to nurse a baby.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 740 § 137/1 et. seq. (2004) creates the Right to Breastfeed Act.  The law provides that a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be; a mother who breastfeeds in a place of worship shall follow the appropriate norms within that place of worship.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 705 § 305/10.3 (2005) amends the Jury Act; provides that any mother nursing her child shall, upon her request, be excused from jury duty.

Illinois Senate Resolution 170 (2011) recognizes the unique health, economic, and societal benefits that breastfeeding provides to babies, mothers, families and the community and resolves the state of Illinois to work to ensure that barriers to initiation and continuation of breastfeeding are removed and that a women's right to breastfeed is upheld.

Illinois House Resolution 778 (2012) urges departments that assist families and children to offer and promote educational materials about breastfeeding.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 210, § 81/1 et. seq (2012) establish the Hospital Infant Feeding Act and requires that every hospital that provides birthing services to adopt an infant feeding policy that promotes breastfeeding. The hospital must routinely communicate this policy to staff and authorizes the posting of the policy on the hospital’s website.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 410, §140/1 et. seq (2015) create the Lactation Accommodation in Airports Act and requires that airport managers to provide a room or other location space at each airport terminal behind the airport security screening area for members of the public to express breast milk in private.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 105 § 5/10-20.60§ 5/34-18.53 and 5/27A-5 (2017) require a public school, including a charter school, to provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil on a school campus to express breast milk, breastfeed an infant child, or address other needs related to breastfeeding; provides for grievance procedures.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 68 § 5/2-102 (2017) states that "reasonable accommodations" means reasonable modifications or adjustments to the job application process or work environment that enable an applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth to be considered for the position the applicant desires or to perform the essential functions of that position.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 25 § 130/8A-21 (2018) directs the Architect of the Capitol to designate at least one mother’s lactation and wellness room in the State Capitol Building, the Howlett Building and the Stratton Building.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 55 § 5/5-1106 (2018) provides that on or before June 1, 2019, every facility that houses a circuit court room shall include at least one lactation room or area for members of the public to express breast milk in private that is located outside the confines of a restroom and includes, at minimum, a chair, a table, and an electrical outlet, as well as a sink with running water where possible.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 410 § 50/3.4 (2019) establishes a comprehensive list of a woman’s rights regarding pregnancy and childbirth, including the right to information on breastfeeding.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 730 § 5/5-5-3.1 (2019) expands the factors accorded weight in favor of withholding or minimizing a sentence of imprisonment to include whether the defendant is the parent of a child or infant whose well-being will be negatively affected by the parent’s absence, including if the child is breastfeeding.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 5, § 375/6.16ch. 215, § 5/356z.33 and ch. 305, § 5/5-40 (2019) provide that donated breast milk must be prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, provides that milk must be obtained from a human milk bank that meets quality guidelines establishes by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America or is licensed by the Department of Public Health.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 410, §705/15-65§705/55-21 and §705/55-35 (2019) require warning labels for adult use cannabis, there is a warning for pregnant and breastfeeding to not use cannabis.

iowa

Iowa Code § 607A.5 (1994) allows a woman to be excused from jury service if she submits written documentation verifying, to the court's satisfaction, that she is the mother of a breastfed child and is responsible for the daily care of the child.

Iowa Code § 135.30A (2000) provides that a woman may breastfeed the woman's own child in any public place where the woman's presence is otherwise authorized.

kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 43-158 (2006) allows a mother breastfeeding her child to be excused from jury service and allows jury service to be postponed until the mother is no longer breastfeeding the child.

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-1,248 (2006) provides that it is the public policy of Kansas that a mother's choice to breastfeed should be supported and encouraged to the greatest extent possible and that a mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 39-7,121g (2015) provides reimbursement to a medical care facility for prescribed medically necessary donor human breast milk provided to a recipient of medical assistance under the Kansas program of medical assistance.

missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 208.152 (1992) requires the department of social services to provide notification and referral of breastfeeding women who are eligible for MO HealthNet to the special supplemental food programs for women, infants and children administered by the department of health and senior services.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 376.1210 (1996) requires health plans to provide coverage for post-discharge care which includes assistance and training in breastfeeding.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 191.915 (1999) requires hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to provide new mothers with a breastfeeding consultation or information on breastfeeding, the benefits to the child and information on local breastfeeding support groups. The law requires physicians who provide obstetrical or gynecological consultation to inform patients about the postnatal benefits of breastfeeding. The law requires the Department of Health to provide and distribute written information on breastfeeding and the health benefits to the child.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 191.918 (1999, 2014) allows a mother, with discretion, to breastfeed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be. The law also states that the act of a mother breastfeeding or expressing breast milk in a public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be shall not constitute sexual conduct or sexual contact as defined in § 566.010, and is not considered an act of public indecency, indecent exposure, lewd touching or obscenity. A municipality may not enact an ordinance prohibiting or restricting a mother from breastfeeding or expressing breast milk in a public or private location.

Mo. Rev. Stat § 494.430 (2014) allows a nursing mother, upon her request, and with a completed written statement from her physician to the court certifying she is a nursing mother, to be excused from service as a petit or grand juror.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 208.141 (2014) requires the department of social services to reimburse a hospital for prescribed medically necessary donor human breast milk provided to a MO HealthNet participant if certain conditions are met.

new jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:4B-4 (1997) entitles a mother to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. Failure to comply with the law may result in a fine.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:2-179 (2003) requires the department of health, in consultation with the department of environmental protection, to prepare a consumer’s mercury alert notice for posting in all patient areas of professional medical offices that provide gynecological, obstetrical or pediatric care and in the patient or client areas of all maternal and child health and nutrition programs. The notice shall explain the danger to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding their children, and young children, of eating mercury contaminated fish.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 17:48-6qq§ 17:48A-7nn§ 17:48E-35.41§ 17B:26-2.1kk, § 17B:27-46.1qq§ 17B:27A-7.24§ 17B:27A-19.28§ 26:2J-4.42§ 52:14-17.29z and § 52:14-17.46.6k (2017) require coverage for donated human breast milk.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 10:5-12 (2018) makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate based on pregnancy or breastfeeding in compensation or financial terms of employment.

N.J. Rev. Stat § 54:32B-8.63 (2018) exempts breast pumps, breast pump repair and replacement parts, breast-pump collection and storage supplies and certain breast-pump kits from sales tax.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:6-8.98.1 (2018) requires the Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board to study racial and ethnic disparities that contribute to infant mortality and addresses disparities in breastfeeding initiation and duration to increase supports among racial and ethnic populations.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 17:48-6ss§ 17:48A-7pp§ 17:48E-35.43§ 17B:26-2.1ll§ 17B:27-46.1ss§ 17B:27A-7.25§ 17B:27A-19.29§ 26:2J-4.44§ 52:14-17.29cc and § 52:14-17.46.6n (2018) require coverage for breastfeeding support.

New Jersey Assembly Resolution 245 (2018) urges certain airline companies to change policies to allow passengers to carry breast pumps and breast milk onto aircraft without counting against carry-on limits.

New Jersey Assembly Resolution 244 (2019) urges the president and Congress of the U.S. to enact laws prohibiting airlines from counting breast milk or breast pumps against the airline's carry on limit or restricting passengers from carrying breast milk onto aircraft.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:4C et. seq. (2019) require certain public facilities and offices to provide an on-site lactation room; requires the department of health to provide information about lactation room availability; requires the department of education to provide information on lactation policies in schools.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 30:4D-6 (2019) requires Medicaid coverage for pasteurized donated human breast milk, under certain circumstances.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 30:4D-6o (2019) requires health benefits and Medicaid coverage for breastfeeding support.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 30:4-82.8 (2019) restricts the use of isolated confinement in correctional facilities, prohibits holding an inmate in isolated confinement based on several factors, including pregnant or breastfeeding status.

new york

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2505 (1980) provides that the Maternal and Child Health commissioner has the power to adopt regulations and guidelines including, but not limited to donor standards, methods of collection, and standards for storage and distribution of human breast milk.

N.Y. Penal Law § 245.01 et seq. (1984) excludes breastfeeding of infants from exposure offenses.

N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-E (1994) permits a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location.

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2803-n (1996) requires a general hospital that provides maternity care to include, at minimum, assistance and training in breast or bottle feeding.

N.Y. Insurance Law § 3221 (2002), § 3216 (1996) and § 4303 (1996) require certain health plans to provide coverage for assistance and training in breast or bottle feeding and pasteurized donor human milk.

N.Y. Labor Law § 206-C (2007) states that employers must allow breastfeeding mothers reasonable, unpaid break times to express milk and make a reasonable attempt to provide a private location for her to do so.  Prohibits discrimination against breastfeeding mothers.

N.Y. Correction Law § 611 (2009) allows a mother of a nursing child to be accompanied by her child if she is committed to a correctional facility at the time she is breastfeeding. This law also permits a child born to a committed mother to return with the mother to the correctional facility. The child may remain with the mother until one year of age if the woman is physically capable of caring for the child.

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2505-A (2009) creates the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights and requires it to be posted in a public place in each maternal health care facility. The commissioner must also make the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights available on the health department's website so that health care facilities and providers may include such rights in a maternity information leaflet.

N.Y. Social Services Law § 365-a (2018) includes pasteurized donor human milk, which may include fortifiers as medically indicated for inpatient use, under standard coverage for medical assistance for needy persons under certain conditions.

N.Y. Public Buildings Law § 144 (2018) requires that a covered public building shall contain a lactation room that is made available for use by a member of the public to breastfeed or express breast milk.

N.Y. Judiciary Law § 517 (2019) amends the Judiciary Law, provides an exemption from jury duty for breastfeeding women, allows that such breastfeeding mother’s jury duty shall be postponed up to a certain period after the date on which such service otherwise to commence.

NY SB 6952 (2019) relates to lactation counseling services when such services are ordered by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or midwife.

NY SB 1296 (2021) requires the department of health of the state of New York to conduct a review of the effects of racial and ethnic disparities on breastfeeding rates and prepare and submit a report to the Governor and the legislature.

NY SB 854(2021) directs the commissioner of the office of addiction services and supports to include information for pregnant or breastfeeding women regarding the use of cannabis in a statewide public health campaign and in ongoing education materials.

north-carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-190.9 (1993) states that a woman is allowed to breastfeed in any public or private location, and that she is not in violation of indecent exposure laws.

ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5164.07 (1995), § 3923.63 (1995), § 3923.64 (1996) and § 1751.67 (1997) require health plans to provide coverage for follow-up care which includes assistance and training in breastfeeding.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3781.55 (2005) provides that a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.

oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 36, § 6060.3 (1996) requires health plans to provide coverage for home visits which includes assistance and training in breastfeeding.

Okla. Stat. tit. 38, § 28 (2004) exempts mothers who are breastfeeding a baby from jury duty, upon their request.

Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 1-234.1 (2004) allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location that she is authorized to be and exempts her from the crimes and punishments listed in the penal code of the state of Oklahoma.

Okla. Stat. tit. 40, § 435 (2006, 2020) requires that an employer provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to breastfeed or express breast milk for her child.  The law requires the Department of Health to issue periodic reports on breastfeeding rates, complaints received and benefits reported by both working breastfeeding mothers and employers. The law also requires state agencies to allow paid break times for lactating employees to a use lactation room for certain purposes.

Okla. Stat. tit. 61, § 334 (2020) relates to public buildings; requires appropriate authority of a covered public building to ensure availability of a lactation room.

Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 5-149.3 (2021) directs each school district board of education to adopt certain policy for school district employees who are lactating. The law also requires each school district to make a reasonable effort to provide certain room or other location for an employee to express milk or breastfeed a child.

oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. § 10.050 (1999) excuses a woman from acting as a juror if the woman is breastfeeding a child. A request from the woman must be made in writing.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 109.001 (1999) allows a woman to breastfeed in a public place.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 653.075, § 653.077 and § 653.256 (2007, 2019) allow women to have unpaid 30-minute breaks during each four-hour shift to breastfeed or pump.

Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.500 (2011) states that the purpose of the Women, Infants and Children Program is to provide nutritious food, nutrition education and counseling, health screening and referral services to breastfeeding women.

Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 743A.067 (2017) requires health benefit plans offered in this state to provide coverage for breastfeeding comprehensive support, counseling and supplies.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 657B.020 (2019) creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program. The law provides that benefits may be extended for an additional two weeks for covered individuals experiencing conditions related to pregnancy, including but not limited to lactation.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 659A.147 (2019) makes unlawful employment practice for employer to deny reasonable accommodation to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, including lactation.

rhode-island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13-17 (1987) establishes the WIC program to provide supplemental foods and nutrition education to breastfeeding women.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-18-33.1§ 27-19-23.1§ 27-20-17.1 and § 27-41-30.1 (1996) requires health insurance plans to provide coverage for postpartum hospital stays which includes assistance and training in breastfeeding.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-45-2 (1998) specifies that indecent exposure-disorderly conduct laws do not apply to breastfeeding in public.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-72-3 (2001) requires a consumer mercury alert notice to be posted in professional medical offices that provide gynecological, obstetrical or pediatric care and in the patient or client areas of all maternal and child health and nutrition programs. The notice will explain the danger to women who are breastfeeding their children.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.2-1 (2003) specifies that an employer may provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to breastfeed or express breast milk for her infant child.  The law requires the department of health to issue periodic reports on breastfeeding rates, complaints received and benefits reported by both working breastfeeding mothers and employers and provides definitions.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.5-1 and § 23-13.5-2 (2008) allow a woman to feed her child by bottle or breast in any place open to the public and would allow her a private cause of action for denial of this right.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-5-7.4 (2015) prohibits employers from refusing to reasonably accommodate an employee’s or prospective employee’s condition related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, including but not limited to the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. Reasonable accommodation is defined to include private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk.

texas

Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.002 (1995, 2019) relates to the right to express breast milk and provides that a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby or express breast milk in any location in which the mother’s presence is otherwise authorized to be.

Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.003 (1995) provides for the use of a "mother-friendly" designation for businesses who have policies supporting worksite breastfeeding.

Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.004 (1995) requires state agencies that administer programs providing maternal or child health services to provide information that encourages breastfeeding to program participants who are pregnant women or mothers with infants.

Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.032 (1995) provides for a worksite breastfeeding demonstration project and requires the Department of Health to develop recommendations supporting worksite breastfeeding.

Tex. Health Code Ann. § 161.071 (2001) requires the Department of Health to establish minimum guidelines for the procurement, processing, distribution, or use of human milk by donor milk banks.

Tex. Insurance Code § 1366.056 (2003) requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for timely postdelivery care. § 1366.052 defines postdelivery care to include assistance and training in breastfeeding.

Tex. Government Code § 619.001 et. seq (2015) relates to the right to express breast milk in the workplace and provides that an employee of a public employer is entitled to express breast milk at the employee’s workplace.

Tex. Family Code Ann. § 264.130(2019) includes infant nutrition and the importance of breastfeeding in a list of information to be disseminated to foster children that are pregnant and minors who are pregnant by the Department of Health.

ontario

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission Opens in new window policy, no one should stop a mother from breastfeeding her child, ask her to cover up or move her to another place. It is your right to breastfeed your baby in public.

Ref: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/children-parenting/pregnancy-and-parenting/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-in-public

Summary of Statues as shared on NCSL’s website.

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