Currently 49 states, Washington D.C., and the Virgin Islands all have laws to protect breastfeeding mothers both in public and private. Additionally, South Dakota has a law that exempts breastfeeding mothers from nudity and public indecency laws. This leaves one lone state that doesn’t even do that. The correct answer is B: Idaho.
The Idaho Breastfeeding Law Coalition started a petition to get a law in place supporting breastfeeding Idahoan’s. You can sign the petition here:
Idaho has a very high breastfeeding rate compared to other states. But in our current culture there should always be laws to protect a woman's right to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the safest and healthiest nutrition for babies. It literally saves lives. Not every mother has the ability to pump and bottle feed, nor should they have to. Anywhere a woman is allowed to be, she should have the right to feed her child. However, it is well documented that cultures who sexualize breasts frown upon breastfeeding in public. People begin to see breasts as sexual objects instead of their intended use, to feed our babies.
There are cultures far more modest than ours where seeing a breast is not obscene and expected if the baby needs to be fed. Here we glorify Victoria Secret. We see breasts on billboards, magazines, and television all day, but God forbid you actually use one of those for its intended purpose. Then it is indecency. The double standard and hypocrisy is extreme.
To find out more about your state’s laws in regards to breastfeeding check out the National Conference of State Legislators website:
And when you notice a women breastfeeding in public, be encouraging and say a kind word. We need to support one another in exercising our rights and caring for our children!