In the state of New York, we have an express law protecting breast feeding in public. The law states that a mother has the right to breast feed her child, covered or uncovered, in any place that she and the child are legally allowed to be. Yes, that includes private clubs, restaurants, stadiums, libraries — everywhere!
While I urge moms everywhere to stand their ground when breastfeeding in public, New York moms have an extra tool to help them feel more confident — the ability to calmly inform any person who bugs you that your right to breast feed right where you are is expressly protected under New York law.
Every time I bring this up to nursing moms who are nervous about where they can nurse, I am met with surprised expressions. This has spurred me to action. To help make moms feel more confident about this and provide a visual aid to assist them, I created these breast feeding cards:
Whenever I’m in conversation with a fellow nursing mom, I bring up the law and hand her a couple of cards so she can spread the word. If a mom feels shy about standing up for herself (which is an understandable feeling when your breasts are exposed), she can just keep nursing and let the card do the talking. I printed these cards up on regular paper and laminated them, so they are water and milk resistant. And I deployed them to moms in my MOMS Club, my lactation consultant, my midwives, and my hypnotherapist to share with any mom who needs them.
If you would like a PDF version of the card (eight cards per page), shoot me an email at hello at patricia shepard dot com. I’m also happy to mail you some laminated cards.
(PS: I must note, one of the things I do not love about our breast feeding law is that it lacks an enforcement provision. This means the law doesn’t state a way that violators can be punished. In effect, it makes it a law with no teeth. I cannot imagine a situation where a woman informing the violator of the law and standing her ground would not yield the right result. But maybe I overestimate people (though I hope not). In any event, the New York Civil Liberties Union may be able to help women whose right to breast feed has been violated. Check out their site here.)
PLEASE NOTE: NOTHING IN THIS POST (or anywhere else on patriciashepard.com) SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. For more information, go to my Disclaimer page.