Breastfeeding Laws


Two U.S. states do not protect a mother's right to nurse her child in public:  WVa and ID. Three additional states only exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws: WY, SD, MI.

Every state except West Virginia, has some law related to breastfeeding but the laws vary widely.  If you know of a law that has been amended and is not reflected in this list, please email Dionna {at} CodeNameMama {dot} com.


Alabama
Ala. Code § 22-1-13 (2006): A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present.

Alaska
Alaska Stat. § 29.25.080: A municipality may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.

Arizona
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann § 41-1443 (2006): A mother is entitled to breast-feed in any area of a public place or a place of public accommodation where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.

Arkansas
Ark. Stat. Ann. § 20-27-2001 (2007): A woman may breastfeed a child in a public place or any place where other individuals are present.

California
Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present.

Colorado
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-6-302 (2004): A mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

Connecticut
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64: It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section . . . for a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child; and § 53-34b: No person may restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child.

Delaware
Del. Code Ann. tit. 31 § 310 (1997): Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast-feed her child in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.

District of Columbia
D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402.82(c)(1): A woman shall have the right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child, without respect to whether the mother's breast or any part of it is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding of her child. 

Federal Law
Pub. L. No. 106-058, § 647: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.

Florida
Fla. Stat. § 383.015(1) (1993):  A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Georgia
Ga. Code § 31-1-9 (1999): [A] mother may breast-feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.

Hawaii
Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 489.21: It is a discriminatory practice to deny, or attempt to deny, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodations to a woman because she is breastfeeding a child.

Idaho
No state law specifically protects breastfeeding pairs.

Illinois
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 740 § 137 (2004): A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding; . . . a mother . . . in a place of worship shall comport her behavior with the norms appropriate in that place of worship.

Indiana

Iowa
Iowa Code § 135.30A (2002): Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a woman may breast-feed the woman's own child in any public place where the woman's presence is otherwise authorized.

Kansas
Kan. Stat. Ann.  § 65-1,248(b): A mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

Kentucky
Ky. Rev. Stat. § 211-755(1) (2006): Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, a mother may breast-feed her baby or express breast milk in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

Louisiana
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 51. 2247.1(B) (2001): Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mother may breastfeed her baby in any place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement.

Maine
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 5, § 4634 (2001): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast-feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

Maryland
Md. Health-General Code Ann. § 20-801 (2003): (a) A mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location in which the mother and child are authorized to be. (b) A person may not restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child.

Massachusetts
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 111 § 221(a) (2008): A mother may breastfeed her child in any public place or establishment or place which is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public and where the mother and her child may otherwise lawfully be present.

Michigan
Mich. Comp. Laws § 41.181, § 67.1aa & § 117.4i et seq. (1994): [Michigan law exempts breastfeeding from public indecency laws.]

Minnesota
Minn. Stat. §145.905: A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.

Mississippi
Miss. Code Ann. § 17-25-7 (2006): A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, without respect to whether the mother's breast or any part of it is covered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.

Missouri
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 191.918 (1999): Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mother may, with as much discretion as possible, breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

Montana
Mont. Code Ann. § 50-19-501 (1999): A mother has a right to breastfeed the mother's child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Nebraska
2011 Neb. Laws, L.B. 197: A mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.
Nevada
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 201.232(2) (1995): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

New Hampshire
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 132:10-d (1999): Breast-feeding a child does not constitute an act of indecent exposure and to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child is discriminatory.

New Jersey
N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:4B-4/5 (1997): Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.

New Mexico
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-20-1 (1999): A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present.   

New York
N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e (1994): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed  her  baby  in  any  location, public or  private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether  or  not  the nipple of the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

North Carolina
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-190.9 (1993): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast feed in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

North Dakota
N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-16: If the woman acts in a discreet and modest manner, a woman may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.

Ohio
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3781.55 (2005): A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.

Oklahoma
Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 1-234 (2004): The Legislature hereby declares that breast-feeding a baby constitutes a basic act of nurturing to which every baby has a right and which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. In furtherance of this right, a mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be

Oregon
Or. Rev. Stat. § 109.001 (1999): A woman may breast-feed her child in a public place.

Pennsylvania
P.L. 90, No. 28, Cl. 35 (enacted July 8, 2007): The Freedom to Breastfeed Act permits a mother to nurse her child in public; and provides that breastfeeding may not be considered a nuisance, indecent exposure, sexual conduct or obscenity. 

Rhode Island
R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.5-1 (2008): A woman may feed her child by bottle or breast in any place open to the public.

South Carolina
S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-40(A) (2005): A woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother and her child are authorized to be.

South Dakota
S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 22-22-24.1 and § 22-24A-2 (2002): [South Dakota law exempts breastfeeding from public indecency laws.]

Tennessee
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-58-101 et seq. (2006): A mother has a right to breastfeed her child who is twelve (12) months of age or younger in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present. [Tennessee law exempts all breastfeeding, regardless of age, from public indecency laws.]

Texas
Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.002 (1995): A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Utah
Utah Code Ann. § 17-15-25 (1995): The county legislative body may not prohibit a woman's breast feeding in any location where she otherwise may rightfully be, irrespective of whether the breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

Vermont
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4502 (j) (2002): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any place of public accommodation in which the mother and child would otherwise have a legal right to be.

Virginia
Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002): Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast-feed her child at any location where that woman would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased or controlled by the Commonwealth as defined in § 2.2-1147.

Washington
Wash. Rev. Code § 49.60.30(g) (2009): [It is t]he right of a mother to breastfeed her child in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement.

West Virginia
No state law specifically protects breastfeeding pairs.

Wisconsin
Wis. Stat. § 253.16: A mother may breast−feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breast−feeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breast−feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast−feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast−feeding her child as provided in this section.

Wyoming
Wyo. Stat. § 6-4-201 (2007): [Wyoming law exempts breastfeeding from public indecency laws.]

Puerto Rico
23 P.R. Laws Ann. § 43-1 (4): [E]very breastfeeding mother has the right to nurse her children in any place of public access, whether or not in these places are areas designated for breastfeeding. 

U.S. Virgin Islands
14 V.I.C. § 1022(b): [U.S. Virgin Islands law exempts breastfeeding from public indecency laws.]