Can you imagine spending hundreds on bras in Victoria’s Secret, then being asked to go to “a nearby alley” to nurse your baby? How about being surrounded by Target employees and publicly shamed for nursing your hungry infant? Both of these incidents happened recently in Texas, and both are illegal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 75 percent of mothers start breastfeeding immediately after birth, but less than 15 percent of those moms are breastfeeding exclusively six months later. Situations like these remind us why, as many mothers are afraid of the reaction they may face when feeding their child publicly.
In Texas, codified in Texas Health and Safety Code 106.002 “Right to Breast-Feed”, any mother has the right to nurse her child anywhere she is legally allowed to be. Forty-five states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.)
If confronted by an employee or nosy passerby, politely inform them that in Texas, you have a legal right to nurse anywhere you are legally allowed to be.
Check breastmilkcounts.org for state-by-state nursing laws.
If you have any questions about nursing in public, or are looking for a baby doctor in Austin Texas, please contact us.