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NY Passes Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights

New York state government finally got back to work and has passed a law to help encourage breastfeeding.

Interestingly enough, the same week, a mother was pushed into breastfeeding in a family restroom at a Brooklyn Ikea store. (Maybe those lawmakers spent too much time bickering before passing the law?)

The press release by Senator Malcolm A. Smith said the bill was passed because of,

The recognition that many women forgo the option of breastfeeding their child, despite the health and economic implications of using formula. Oftentimes, women who forgo breastfeeding are those who can least afford it—low-income women, whose child was often placed on formula shortly after birth, without their knowing.

Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) has worked for years on the legislation.

This is good for baby and this is good for mom.

So milk-filled boobs have their own Bill of Rights. Does that mean breasts can sport firearms (finally!)? Not so much. Here’s what this new bill includes:

  • Before You Deliver: The right to information free from commercial interests, good information on the nutritional, medical and psychological benefits of breastfeeding; an explanation of some of the problems a mother may encounter, and how to avoid or solve them.
  • In the Maternal Healthcare Facility: The mother’s right for her baby to stay with her after delivery to facilitate beginning breastfeeding immediately; to insist the baby not receive bottle feeding; to be informed about and refuse any drugs that may dry up breast milk; 24 hour access to the baby with the right to breastfeed at any time.
  • When You Leave the Maternal Healthcare Facility: The right to refuse any gifts or take-home packets from the care facility that contain formula advertising or product samples; access to breastfeeding resources in one’s community.

Breastfeeding friend Senator Krueger said of the legislation:

It is time that we as a society stop being hung up on breasts — after all 51% of us have them evolutionarily engineered for feeding babies — and start doing what is right for the health and well-being of our newborns and moms.

And what about those mothers who already breastfeed, who know the benefits, but then come into contact with idiot employees at stores and restaurants (and even public pools)? New York, as most states, protects a mothers right to breastfeed in public. Let’s hope that some enlightenment occurs soon!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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