Breastfeeding Laws

Note: This list includes laws specifically related to breastfeeding in public. Many states also have laws, not listed here, related to other aspects of breastfeeding, such as workplace accommodations for expressing milk. To learn more, please visit The National Conference of State Legislatures’ “Breastfeeding Laws.”  To learn more about the importance of enforcement provisions, please visit the site, Breastfeeding Law.

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ALABAMA
(
Ala. Code § 21-1-13)
A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present.


ALASKA
(
Alaska Stat. § 29.25.080)
A municipality may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. In a municipal ordinance, “lewd conduct,” “lewd touching,” “immoral conduct,” “indecent conduct,” and similar terms do not include the act of a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.

(Alaska Stat. § 01.10.060)
In the laws of the state, “lewd conduct,” “lewd touching,” “immoral conduct,” “indecent conduct,” and similar terms do not include the act of a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.


ARIZONA
(
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann § 41-1443)
A mother is entitled to breast-feed in any area of a public place or a place of public accommodation where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.


ARKANSAS
Ark. Stat. Ann. § 20-27-2001
A woman may breastfeed a child in a public place or any place where other individuals are present.

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 5-14-112
A woman is not in violation of this section [Indecent Exposure] for breastfeeding a child in a public place or any place where other individuals are present.


CALIFORNIA
Cal. Civil Code § 43.3
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present.


COLORADO
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-6-302
A mother may breast-feed in any place she has a right to be.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-6-301
The general assembly further declares that the purpose of this part 3 is for the state of Colorado to become involved in the national movement to recognize the medical importance of breast-feeding, within the scope of complete pediatric care, and to encourage removal of societal boundaries placed on breast-feeding in public.


CONNECTICUT
Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53-34b
No person may restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64
It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section for a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child.


DELAWARE
Del. Code Ann. tit. 31 § 310
Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast-feed her child in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402.82
(1) A woman shall have the right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child, without respect to whether the mother’s breast or any part of it is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding of her child.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of District of Columbia law governing indecent exposure or the definition of the private or intimate parts of a female person, including that portion of the breast that is below the top of the areola, a woman shall have the right to breastfeed in accordance with this section.

D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402.81
The encouragement of a public acceptance of breastfeeding is consistent with the promotion of family values between a mother and her child and no mother should be made to feel incriminated or socially ostracized for breastfeeding her child.


FLORIDA
Fla. Stat. § 383.015
A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Fla. Stat. § 800.02
A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance violate this section [Lewdness; Indecent exposure].

Fla. Stat. § 827.071
A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute “sexual conduct.”


GEORGIA
Ga. Code § 31-1-9
The breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.


HAWAII
Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 489.21
It is a discriminatory practice to deny, or attempt to deny, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodations to a woman because she is breastfeeding a child.


IDAHO
No laws regarding public breastfeeding.


ILLINOIS
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 740 § 137
A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding; however, a mother considering whether to breastfeed her baby in a place of worship shall comport her behavior with the norms appropriate in that place of worship.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 720 § 5/11-9
Breastfeeding of infants is not an act of public indecency.


INDIANA
Ind. Code § 16-35-6
Notwithstanding any other law, a woman may breastfeed her child anywhere the woman has a right to be.


IOWA
Iowa Code § 135.30A
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a woman may breast-feed the woman’s own child in any public place where the woman’s presence is otherwise authorized.


KANSAS
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-1,248
A mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.


KENTUCKY
Ky. Rev. Stat. § 211-755
(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, a mother may breast-feed her baby or express breast milk in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be. Breast-feeding a child or expressing breast milk as part of breast-feeding shall not be considered an act of public indecency and shall not be considered indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, or obscenity.
(2)  A municipality may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a mother
breast-feeding a child or expressing breast milk in a public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In a municipal ordinance, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, obscenity, and similar terms do not include the act of a mother breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be.
(3)  No person shall interfere with a mother breast-feeding her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.


LOUISIANA
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 51. 2247.1
B.  Right to breastfeed.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mother may breastfeed her baby in any place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement.
C.  “Discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations” to include a discriminatory practice against a mother breastfeeding her baby.  Any direct or indirect act or practice of exclusion, distinction, restriction, segregation, limitation, refusal, denial, or any other act or practice of differentiation or preference in the treatment of a mother breastfeeding her baby shall be a “discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations” for the purposes of this Chapter.
D.  Breastfeeding; discriminatory practices prohibited.  It is a discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement, as defined in this Chapter, on the grounds that the individual is a mother breastfeeding her baby.  This discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations is prohibited.
E.  Breastfeeding not a violation of law.  A mother breastfeeding her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, shall not be deemed to be in violation of R.S. 14:106 or of any other provision of law.


MAINE
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 5, § 4634
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast-feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.


MARYLAND
Md. Health-General Code Ann. § 20-801
(a)      A mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location in which the mother and child are authorized to be.
(b)      A person may not restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child.


MASSACHUSETTS
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 111 § 221
(a) A mother may breastfeed her child in any public place or establishment or place which is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public and where the mother and her child may otherwise lawfully be present.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the act of a mother breastfeeding her child, and any exposure of a breast incidental thereto that is solely for the purpose of nursing such child, shall not be considered lewd, indecent, immoral, or unlawful conduct.
(c) No person or entity, including a governmental entity, shall, with the intent to violate a mother’s right under subsection (a), restrict, harass or penalize a mother who is breastfeeding her child.


MICHIGAN
Mich. Comp. Laws § 41.181, Mich. Comp. Laws § 67.1aa, and Mich. Comp. Laws § 117.4i
[Public nudity does not include] a woman’s breastfeeding of a baby whether or not the nipple or areola is exposed during or incidental to the feeding.


MINNESOTA
Minn. Stat. § 145.905
A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 617.23
It is not a violation of this section [Indecent Exposure] for a woman to breast-feed.


MISSISSIPPI
Miss. Code Ann. § 17-25-7
No county, municipality or other political subdivision shall enact any ordinance restricting a woman’s right to breast-feed her child until such time as the state may authorize a county, municipality or other political subdivision to enact such an ordinance.

Miss. Code Ann. § 17-25-9
A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, without respect to whether the mother’s breast or any part of it is covered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.

Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-319
It is not a violation of this statute [Indecent exposure] for a woman to breast-feed.

Miss. Code Ann. § 97-35-7
The act of breast-feeding shall not constitute disorderly conduct.


MISSOURI
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 191.918
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mother may, with as much discretion as possible, breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.


MONTANA
Mont. Code Ann. § 50-19-501
(1) A mother has a right to breastfeed the mother’s child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
(2) A unit of local government may not prohibit breastfeeding in public by local ordinance.
(3) The act of breastfeeding may not be considered: (a) a nuisance as provided in Title 27, chapter 30; (b) indecent exposure as provided for in 45-5-504; (c) sexual conduct as defined in 45-5-625; or (d) obscenity as provided for in 45-8-201.


NEBRASKA
Legislative Bill 197, passed May 2011, became law on June 10, 2011.
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.


NEVADA
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 201.232
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 mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 201.210
For the purposes of this section [Open or gross lewdness], the breast feeding of a child by the mother of the child does not constitute an act of open or gross lewdness.

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 201.220
For the purposes of this section [Indecent or obscene exposure], the breast feeding of a child by the mother of the child does not constitute an act of open and indecent or obscene exposure of her body.


NEW HAMPSHIRE
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 132:10-d
Breast-feeding a child does not constitute an act of indecent exposure and to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child is discriminatory.


NEW JERSEY
N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:4B-4
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.


NEW MEXICO
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-20-1
A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present.


NEW YORK
N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed  her  baby  in  any  location,  public  or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether  or  not  the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

N.Y. Penal Law § 245.01
This section [Exposure of a person] shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants.


NORTH CAROLINA
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-190.9
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast feed in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.


NORTH DAKOTA
N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-20-12.1
The act of a woman discreetly breastfeeding her child is not a violation of this
Section [Indecent exposure].

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-16
If the woman acts in a discreet and modest manner, a woman may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.


OHIO
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3781.55
A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.


OKLAHOMA
Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 1-234
A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be. Breast-feeding shall not constitute a violation of any provision of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.


OREGON
Or. Rev. Stat. § 109.001
A woman may breast-feed her child in a public place.


PENNSYLVANIA
Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 35 § 636.1
Section 3. General Rule: A mother shall be permitted to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
Section 4. Freedom to Breastfeed:  The act of breastfeeding shall not be considered:
(1)   Indecent exposure as defined in 18 Pa. C.S. 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).
(2)   Open lewdness as defined in 18 Pa. C.S. 5901 (relating to open lewdness).
(3)   Obscenity or sexual conduct as defined in 18 Pa. C.S. 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).
(4)   A nuisance as defined in 18 Pa. C.S. 6504 (relating to public nuisances).


PUERTO RICO
23 L.P.R.A. § 43-1
(4) Reaffirming that every breastfeeding mother has the right to nurse her children in any place of public access, whether or not in these places are areas designated for breastfeeding.

(1) In shopping malls, ports, airports and public service government centers there shall be accessible areas designed for breastfeeding and diaper changing of children. The accessible areas designed for breastfeeding referred to in this section shall guarantee privacy, security and hygiene for the breastfeeding mother. Such areas shall not coincide with the area or physical space destined for sanitary services, commonly known as bathrooms.


RHODE ISLAND
R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.5-1
A woman may feed her child by bottle or breast in any place open to the public.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-45-2
In no event shall the provisions of this section be construed to apply to breastfeeding in public.


SOUTH CAROLINA
S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-40
(A) A woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother and her child are authorized to be.
(B) Breastfeeding a child in a location where the mother is authorized to be is not considered indecent exposure.


SOUTH DAKOTA
S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 22-22-24.1 and S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 22-24A-2
[“Nudity”] does not include a mother’s breast-feeding of her baby irrespective of whether or not the nipple is covered during or incidental to feeding.


TENNESSEE
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-58-101
A mother has a right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-58-102
The act of breastfeeding shall not be considered:
(1)  Public indecency, as defined in § 39-13-511; or
(2)  Nudity, obscene, or sexual conduct, as defined in § 39-17-901.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-58-102
A unit of local government shall not prohibit breastfeeding in public by local ordinance.


TEXAS
Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.002
A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.


UTAH
Utah Code Ann. § 17-15-25
The county legislative body may not prohibit a woman’s breast feeding in any location where she otherwise may rightfully be, irrespective of whether the breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1229.5
A woman’s breast feeding, including breast feeding in any location where the woman otherwise may rightfully be, does not under any circumstance constitute a violation of this part, irrespective of whether or not the breast is covered during or incidental to feeding.


VERMONT
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4502 (j)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any place of public accommodation in which the mother and child would otherwise have a legal right to be.

2002 Vt. Acts, Act 117
This act states that the general assembly finds that breastfeeding a child is an important, basic and natural act of nurture that should be encouraged in the interest of enhancing maternal, child and family health, and amends the discrimination laws to provide that a mother may breastfeed her child in any place of public accommodation in which the mother and child would otherwise have a legal right to be.


VIRGINIA
Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast-feed her child at any location where that woman would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased or controlled by the Commonwealth as defined in § 2.2-1147.

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-387
No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section [Indecent exposure] for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present.


WASHINGTON
Wash. Rev. Code § 49.60.30(g)
[Freedom of Discrimination includes] the right of a mother to breastfeed her child in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement.

Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.88.010
The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure.

Wash. Rev. Code § 49.60.215
It shall be an unfair practice for any person or the person’s agent or employee to commit an act which directly or indirectly results in any distinction, restriction, or discrimination, or the requiring of any person to pay a larger sum than the uniform rates charged other persons, or the refusing or withholding from any person the admission, patronage, custom, presence, frequenting, dwelling, staying, or lodging in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement, except for conditions and limitations established by law and applicable to all persons, regardless of [. . .] status as a mother breastfeeding her child.


WEST VIRGINIA
No laws regarding public breastfeeding.


WISCONSIN
2009 Wis. Laws, Act 148
A mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breast-feeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breast-feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast-feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast-feeding her child as provided in this section.

Wis. Stat. § 944.17(3)
[Sex crimes] does not apply to a mother’s breast-feeding of her child.

Wis. Stat. § 944.20(2)
[Lewd and lascivious behavior] does not apply to a mother’s breast-feeding of her child.

Wis. Stat. § 948.10(2)
[Indecent exposure] does not apply [to] a mother’s breast-feeding of her child.


WYOMING
Wyo. Stat. § 6-4-201
The act of breastfeeding an infant child, including breastfeeding in any place where the woman may legally be, does not constitute public indecency.

 

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