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Everyone latched onto their mother's boob at one point in time. But while some states allow breastfeeding to be publicly protected, the stigma is something that should be removed as well. Huffington Post published an article last year that said states like South Dakota and Virginia exempt woman who are breastfeeding from any public indecency charges or nudity violations. 47 of the 50 states allow women to breastfeed in public without any exemptions. But yet while those states allow public breastfeeding, there are some people who want them to do it in a spot where the boob and baby are out of sight.
According to the National Counsel of State Legislature, women who breastfeed have a much easier time going back to pre-pregnancy weight and lower risk of osteoporosis. The antibodies in the mother's milk produce antibodies in the infant for up to six months of protection (Always make sure you vaccinate young children, especially infants, because vaccination and breastfeeding are sure to help your child's immune system progress much better against any viruses or infections).
Yet, while we progress to help promote breastfeeding and a more suitable bond for mother and child, the public are more inclined to escort women in to a public restroom in a state where they can whip out the nipple right at the dinner table of a restaurant. Not only does this increase the threat of potential harm to mother and child, but it also causes new mothers to double think on what it means to feed your child in an environment where this type of behavior is shamed. You're doing something natural, there shouldn't be a need to stop breastfeeding because you don't want to draw attention to yourself.
The Problem with Public Breastfeeding
While there can be laws that protect woman and child, there are no laws protecting them from harassment or assault if anyone was to come up to a woman and publicly attack her for doing something that is actually beneficial to mother and child. But while no one is willing to file charges of harassment or assault, they should be. Harassing a new mother is considered a threat to both mother and child. Escorting them to a different place in public is considered a form of assault as well. You're putting a mom and her baby in danger, if mom is doing her part, let her do it and don't try to confront her telling her she is a terrible and slutty woman trying to keep her child happy and healthy.
New mothers don't know about some of the resources that are available to them. Sometimes they don't know that it is okay to breastfeed in public at a restaurant or at a theme park, in return, they can easily attack this new mother and shame her for doing something that is evolutionary suitable for human adaptation. So maybe looking up the legal laws in your state is a great way to start, there is also a great way to talk with legal consultants or police officers for any information you may have missed that they could help clarify.
Charging Strangers With Assault/Harassment
There are plenty of websites for promoting a safe environment for a new mother. Best for Babies say that if a complaint by another customer at a restaurant or from an employer about breastfeeding at work puts you and your child at risk, there are ways to work legally and safely around the situation. It is highly important to stay calm throughout the whole situation and asking them what it is you may have done wrong is the first way to understand what it is that everyone involved can do in the future to avoid the situation from happening again.
However, if the situation cannot be controlled by a reasonable argument between two adults, and say for example the person making the accusation grabs your arm and tries to force you to go to a different location, then you are liable to charge them with assault or harassment, even sexual assault or harassment. But those charges would have to depend on the state you live in and what the local prosecutors argue counts for sexual assault or harassment. Two regions in Canada have laws where discriminating, assaulting or harassing a woman who is breastfeeding is illegal. Whether it is to ask them to cover up or to take them to a bathroom, it isn't right to put someone's safety at risk for your own good.