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Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages

Breastfeeding Bill of Rights

New York State was the first state in the nation to pass a law protecting a mother's right to breastfeed in public.

Breastfeeding and the Workplace:
In 2007, New York State passed a legislation that protects nursing mothers who return to the workplace. The law requires employers provide uncompensated breaks for women to express milk or nurse their children for up to three years. This law also bars an employer from discriminating against an employee exercising this right. In addition, the new law also requires employers to make 'reasonable efforts' to provide a room or other location where the employee can express breast milk privately.

Breastfeeding Bill of Right

NYS has a Breastfeeding Bill of Rights that provides women with greater access to breastfeeding information and support. The law supports new mothers by providing them information about breastfeeding before they give birth and after and free of commercial interest.

  • Before You Deliver: The right to information free from commercial interests, good information on the nutritional, medical and psychological benefits of breastfeeding; an explanation of some of the problems a mother may encounter, and how to avoid or solve them.
  • In the Maternal Health Care Facility: The mother's right for her baby to stay with her after delivery to facilitate beginning breastfeeding immediately; to insist the baby not receive bottle feeding; to be informed about and refuse any drugs that may dry up breast milk; 24-hour access to the baby with the right to breastfeed at any time.
  • When You Leave the Maternal Health Care Facility: The right to refuse any gifts or take-home packets from the care facility that contain formula advertising or product samples; access to breastfeeding resources in one's community.

For more information, visit: http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2028/