Public Breastfeeding in Connecticut: Know the Law and Your Rights
If you're a new mom you probably have a lot of questions about when and where to breastfeed.
You may feel embarrassed or confused about what to do while out in public. Before you make any decisions based on your personal comfort, you should be aware of your rights here in the great state of Connecticut. This is a quick rundown of what you need to know.
Is Public Breastfeeding Legal in Connecticut?
Yes, public breastfeeding is a protected right. There are even organizations that have been established to protect this right like the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition. CT.Gov says: "Connecticut law allows mothers to breastfeed their babies in public places.
Can a Mother Breastfeed at Work?
Yes and employers have guidelines they must follow for breastfeeding mothers. Here is Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40w Workplace Pumping Law:
(a) Any employee may, at her discretion, express breast milk or breastfeed on site at her workplace during her meal or break period.
(b) An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.
(c) An employer shall not discriminate against, discipline or take any adverse employment action against any employee because such employee has elected to exercise her rights under subsection (a) of this section.
Is There More to Know?
There is a lot more to know. Not only is it legal to breastfeed in public but it's illegal to try and stop someone. The Connecticut Law Enforcement Handbook Field Manual 53-34b says trying to stop someone from breastfeeding is a violation that is defined as a person "restricting or limiting the right of a mother to breastfeed her child." The handbook adds: "No person may restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child."
What is the Penalty for Restricting or Limiting a Mother from Breastfeeding Her Child?
According to Leavesource: "Penalty when no penalty provided. Any person who is convicted of a violation of any provision of the general statutes for which violation no penalty is expressly provided shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars. [applies to crime of Deprivation of the right to breastfeed one’s child."
This begs the question: how would a person attempt to stop someone from breastfeeding? Do they dive between the nip and the baby's face? If you did physically block a babies' lips or a mother's bosom, I'd imagine they would tack on some additional charges.
You might be wondering why I'm thinking so deeply on the matter and that is a fair question. The fact is, if they (Connecticut) had to put all of this in writing, someone, somewhere tried to stop a mom from breastfeeding and that fascinates me. What did they do? When did they do it? Is this real life? Why didn't their mom love them enough to breastfeed them?
I was breastfed and I'm damn proud of it. Some people say 15 years is too long but they are just jealous. I can still feel the iron and calcium from those early meals surging through my body, giving me magnificent strength and mental prowess.
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