Know the Law in Ohio: Breastfeeding in Public

Know the Law in Ohio: Breastfeeding in Public

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Given the recent debate on breastfeeding in the national news — and keeping in mind that not every mother can breastfeed — it’s important to know the law when feeding your baby in public.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (in support of the American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that all babies, with rare exceptions, be breastfed and/or receive expressed human milk exclusively for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods throughout the second half of the first year. Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as is mutually desired.

“All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location,” according to National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Ohio Revised Code, in 2005, states that breastfeeding in places of public accommodation is allowed. “A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.”

Click here for more information on laws in each state.

About the author

Angela Gartner is the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine. She previously served as editor for family and general interest magazines in the region. As a journalist, her features and columns have appeared in newspapers and other publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers as well as the Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy each weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She loves reading books, being a board member at the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and talking the family dog, a Scottish Terrier named Jagger, on his walks.

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