so i went to gym today and had Collin in childcare. when i returned to pick him up, he was obviously hungry. there was a rocking chair in the nursery, and i asked the 2 childcare providers if they minded if i used (the only) seat/rocking chair to nurse. they looked at each other for a moment, with a look of "seriously?? she wants to nurse, here??" and eventually said, "i guess its ok, as long as cover up" so i sat down and nursed, covered. my question is, is it legal for them to demand that i use a cover when i nurse? if it matters, i was wearing a tshirt and would have normally lifted my shirt and nursed, with only a small section of my midriff exposed.
You have a legal right to breastfeed anywhere that you have a legal right to be - and you do NOT have to cover up. So, I guess it depends on the place's polcies and if they normally would allow someone to sit in the chair. That being said, it was in EXTREMELY poor taste of them to ask you to cover up. I'm guessing that they were young (I assume because all of the childcare employees at our gym are) and not comfortable and knowledgable with nursing - but perhaps open to it. A little education for them could go A LONG way, I think.
thanks carly. thats what i thought i remembered. i didn't care if they needed the chair, i would have sat on the floor. anyway, i know the director of the childcare center well enough that i think i will tell her what happened, and advise a little education on the subject. i just wanted to double check to make sure that i had remembered the laws correctly. also, surprisingly, one of the workers, the one who asked me to cover, was not so young (mid to late 30's i would think) certainly not your minimum wage teenager...ugh.
Most breastfeeding laws are governed by the state, so what your specific rights are depends on where you are. Here's an overview: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx
I'm sorry...this pisses me off!!!! I would print out the info and have it on hand..so next time you sit and nurse- WITHOUT the cover- and they say something....you can just hand over the paper and tell them that you actually don't need one and you can nurse anywhere without one:)
Another idea if you want more info- on Facebook look up the Leaky Boob. There are thousands of women on there and I would guess the majority would know exactly where you can and cannot nurse. I'm in Canada so we can nurse pretty much anywhere other than court I believe...not 100% sure.
Good Luck!! If all else fails....hold a nurse in! ;)
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 51. 2247.1 (2001) states that a mother may breastfeed her baby in any place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement, and clarifies that breastfeeding is not a violation of law, including obscenity laws. (2001 HB 377)
La. House Concurrent Resolution 35 (2002) establishes a joint study of requiring insurance coverage for outpatient lactation support for new mothers.
2008 La. Senate Resolution 110 requests the Department of Health & Hospitals to study and/or consider a provision of providing non-emergency transportation for new mothers to allow them to visit the hospital and bring their breast milk for their babies.
sorry it pasted in kind of funny, but read the law in red, it states any PUBLIC PLACE... does a privately owned place count?
You are a much kinder woman than me. I don't even know if I can breastfeed covered up. I don't believe I have ever really tried - and I'm a super modest person - like you say, I just lift my shirt and maybe show a little midriff (much less than most of the women at the gym, I'm sure.) I would have been so annoyed by being asked to cover up. I suppose I've been blessed by never having any problems with it, as I nurse whenever I need to, where ever I am, but you can bet I've got a ton of smart alec answers ready for it, when the moment comes. The only time it's ever really been an issue was on Facebook once when my cousins got all in a tizzy when I posted some article (probably from Mothering) about NIP. They declared all sorts of ridiculous stuff, like that once a baby is one, once he/she can talk, anywhere but church...
Okay, none of this had to do about Louisiana laws. Sorry.
jenny--see, now if i had to respond to your cousin, i likely would have asked if her kids stopped eating at age one, never asked for a snack in public, or wanted a drink at church... that i could have done! (and i'm sure you did!) but the childcare people just caught me so completely off guard i didn't know what to say!
jess-- i know what you mean. its a sad state of affairs over here...
chiro-it says a place of any public accommodation- so open to the public.
I had universal studios tell me that because they were private they didn't have to follow state laws. (in florida the law is that I can nurse anywhere I am otherwise allowed to be). I just kept repeating the state law over and over (although my voice started to rise and once my husband hear d and came over to see what was going on the lady dropped it. I did later complain to customer service and they instituted a new training program...and gave me free tickets to the park).
Now I carry my business card with me that have the state law on the back and just hand them that if they say anything...interestingly I have only had to hand it to one person, a police officer.--I know it's hard to see it's a photo taken from the computer screen.
All of this makes me remember something that occured to me before I was out of highschool. I was in church one Sunday and there was a mom in the pew in front of me nursing. I was completely disgusted but not the type of person to say anything. I'm glad that I didn't because I got smart and now I am the breastfeeding mother in the church pew!
Courtney, your card is perfect. Maybe I will add that to mine.
Tula, why can't we nurse in court? I'd never heard that before. I am going to test it soon though, because Jared will be called to The Bar in September, and I'm going, I will bring Atticus, and he will likely need to nurse while we are there. We'll see if the judge is prepared for me.