Public policy for breastfeeding

The proposed legislation that would create a penalty for interfering with a mother that is breastfeeding in public got me thinking about the big picture with legislation and breastfeeding. While fear of how other people will react to breastfeeding in public is a barrier for some mothers, there are some other big barriers as well. Right now the legislature and the news are focused on nursing in public and it’s easy to focus on because it’s in plain view…

In the future, we need to break down some other barriers to breastfeeding. Mothers need adequate maternity leave, safe and comfortable places to express milk at work, protection from unethical marketing by formula companies, and custody agreements after divorce that protect breastfeeding as well as a baby’s relationship with the father.

Hopefully I’ll have time to write more about all of these things in the future. If you want to read more, see Hirkani’s Daughters, The Politics of Breastfeeding, and Milk, Money, and Madness.

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