Breast feeding: Legislative intent; authorized in any public or private location where mother is authorized to be.
1. The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) The medical profession in the United States recommends that children from birth to the age of 1 year should be breast fed, unless under particular circumstances it is medically inadvisable.
(b) Despite the recommendation of the medical profession, statistics reveal a declining percentage of mothers who are choosing to breast feed their babies.
(c) Many new mothers are now choosing to use formula rather than to breast feed even before they leave the hospital, and only a small percentage of all mothers are still breast feeding when their babies are 6 months old.
(d) In addition to the benefit of improving bonding between mothers and their babies, breast feeding offers better nutrition, digestion and immunity for babies than does formula feeding, and it may increase the intelligence quotient of a child. Babies who are breast fed have lower rates of death, meningitis, childhood leukemia and other cancers, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections, diarrheal diseases, otitis media, allergies, obesity and developmental delays.
(e) Breast feeding also provides significant benefits to the health of the mother, including protection against breast cancer and other cancers, osteoporosis and infections of the urinary tract. The incidence of breast cancer in the United States might be reduced by 25 percent if every woman breast fed all her children until they reached the age of 2 years.
(f) The World Health Organization and the United Nations Childrenís Fund have established as one of their major goals for the decade the encouragement of breast feeding.
(g) The social constraints of modern society weigh against the choice of breast feeding and lead new mothers with demanding time schedules to opt for formula feeding to avoid embarrassment, social ostracism or criminal prosecution.
(h) Any genuine promotion of family values should encourage public acceptance of this most basic act of nurture between a mother and her baby, and no mother should be made to feel incriminated or socially ostracized for breast feeding her child.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the motherís breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.
Last modified: February 25, 2006