You’re out at a restaurant with your little one who decides you shouldn’t be the only one eating right now. Can you breastfeed at the table in public?
The short answer: Absolutely.
All 50 states and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in any public or private location. No nursing cover is necessary. Of course, because many women feel less exposed (and their baby less distracted) if they can nurse in a more private area, many states and private companies have gone a step further and require certain places to have designated lactation rooms, such as airports and malls.
Not all babies are willing to nurse while they have a cover over their heads—it’s hot and dark and impersonal. For this, among other reasons, moms may choose to nurse al fresco, and that is their 100% legal right to do so. Remind nay-sayers of this if you are ever unfortunate enough to have negative comments thrown your way while you are feeding your child in public.
Below is the National Conference of State Legislature’s most recent update of breastfeeding laws by state. And remember, breastfeeding your child is a natural act that you should be proud of; do not let uneducated individuals shame you into thinking you have to hide in a bathroom to feed them. Your baby has just as much right to eat whenever and wherever as a bottle-fed child.