Congratulations! The arrival of your little darling is the best thing ever to happen. As a new mom, breastfeeding is going to be a part of the routine for some time now. Of course, you have questions and anxieties, and it’s perfectly normal. It is an act of bonding and getting closer to your little one. Your warmth and closeness makes your little darling feel secure and loved.
Over the last century, breastfeeding has received a lot of bashings. A lot of people look at it as an act of nudity or obscenity. Few states and even cultures object to public toplessness of females while breastfeeding. Few jurisdictions have also forbidden it while few haven’t stated any law and others have recognized it as a legal right. The result is that many moms like you are confused about the legal ramifications of breastfeeding. So, if you are a nursing mother and you want to know whether is it legal to breastfeed in public or not, read our post and get the answer to your question here.
What Does Breastfeeding In Public Mean?
Breastfeeding is an act or practice of nursing, feeding or suckling your baby with breast milk. When you breastfeed your child in a public space, it is breastfeeding in public (1).
Is Breastfeeding In Public Legal?
Breastfeeding in public is largely accepted in many countries, with acceptance varying from one region to another. Society’s attitudes and countries laws play a big part on public perspective towards breastfeeding.
France has legalized breastfeeding in public, and there are no controversies attached. In fact, it is widely accepted publicly.
[ Read: Tips On Breastfeeding In Public ]
There isn’t any law protecting breastfeeding in public here, but bottle-feeding is discouraged in public and breastfeeding in public is rather common.
The United Kingdom:
Here breastfeeding in public is protected by law and proper facilities are provided for nursing mothers by law.
The United States:
Except for a few states, breastfeeding in public is protected by law in almost all 50 states.
There is no stated law or legal statute to protect breastfeeding in public. While breastfeeding in public is encouraged, with other women often helping out nursing moms, public acceptance of breastfeeding in public differs from region to region. A nursing mother is also often asked to cover up, and discreet breastfeeding in public is accepted.
Shanghai considers it embarrassing to breastfeed babies in public. However, a large section of the society accepts it, and there are no issues per se related to breastfeeding in public in China.
Although there is no legal protection or law in favor of breastfeeding in public, it is highly encouraged overall.
[ Read: Breastfeeding Tips for Working Mothers ]
Africa encourages breastfeeding and doing the same in public is a common norm. However, in some parts of South Africa, it is still considered as an act worth frowning upon.
Malaysia only accepts discreet breastfeeding in public.
The Philippines protects a woman’s right to breastfeed its baby in public through various laws.
Saudi Arabia prohibits its women to expose or show any part of their body, even if while breastfeeding. Hence, only discreet breastfeeding in public is allowed there.
Taiwan legally protects their women’s right to breastfeed in public.
If you are not comfortable breastfeeding your baby in public, you may do so discreetly. Keep a cover-up blanket handy and use it to avoid showing skin while feeding your baby. You may also look for special rooms that are provided for feeding your baby. Find a private place that makes both you and your baby comfortable. The act should make you and your baby comfortable; you choose if you wish to breastfeed discreetly or normally.
Remember, there is nothing to feel shy or embarrassed about breastfeeding your baby in public. While many people in society attach a degree of shock value to breastfeeding in public, realize that what you are doing is not unnatural. Your baby needs you, and hence you’re feeding him. There is a turn in the tide currently with more women becoming more confident about breastfeeding in public (2).
Tell us what you feel about this post on is it legal to breastfeed in public? Have you faced any problem ever? Please leave your comments below and share your experiences with us.
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