Should Women be Able to Breastfeed in Public?

Doylestown is considering a breastfeeding ordinance to protect the rights of women to breastfeed in public.


In Pennsylvania, women have the legal right to breastfeed in public. But just because it is a state law doesn't mean that all businesses are aware of the law or uphold it.

To ensure businesses don't infringe on a woman's right to breastfeed, many places—including Doylestown—are drafting ordinances to protect this right.

At a meeting on Monday, July 16, Doylestown Borough Council president Det Ansinn asked his colleagues to look into drafting an ordinance that would make it illegal for Doylestown businesses to infringe on a woman's right to breastfeed.

"We want to protect women who breastfeed their children in town," Ansinn said. "It’s a public health issue. [Breastfeeding] is permitted by law, and we want to make sure that our businesses and public places are following the law."

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states have laws specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are among them.

In April, one northwestern city took those protections a step farther. The city of  Seattle passed an ordinance making it illegal for a business to ask a mother to leave or to cover herself or the baby while feeding.

And the new federal healthcare legislation enacted protections for employees who need to pump breast milk for their babies. The new law requires that businesses and institutions provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."

Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll and commenting below.

jess July 25, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I breastfed my children until they were at least a year old, which is the recommended MINIMUM amount of time to breastfeed a child. Are women supposed to stay indoors or pump because you are squeamish? I used a cover, but many babies will refuse to eat if something is covering them, especially when it is warm outside. Don't punish the hungry baby for your immature inability to avert your eyes. That is what breasts are for, after all.
Tommybella July 25, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Jess you don't have to give me the statistics about breastfeeding, I breastfed myself. I never punished my hungry baby by the way and I have better things to do than stare at a nursing mother. I thought we were all mature adults just giving our opinion. I am so done with this topic. I also can think of other things breasts are for!
Seth Martinez September 01, 2012 at 01:47 AM
hey. i am a man and i am all for women breastfeeding. i think thats it is great that women are not going to bathrooms to feed their child, that is gross. Women should be allowed to breastfeed their child whenever they are hungry and wherever they are hungry. Ingrid, oh ingrid. i have read your comments but i think that it is disgusting that you even recommend women to go to the bathroom to breastfeed a child. it is the most natural act a mother can do to breastfeed her child, if you don't like it, don't look. simple as that.
Vido October 04, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Wow. That woman Ingrid!!!!makes me wonder what kind of household she was brought up in????? Do you have any children of your own?????? Do you keep your babies locked in a room with a bottle of formula???? Honey... This is life and nature at its best. The first and most natural thing a human does since birth!!!!! Wake up and smell the flowers ....... They're actually pretty nice and smell good too!!!!!!!
Elle November 24, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Ingrid, how can you possibly suggest mothers feed their children in the restroom? If you wouldn't eat in there then why would you suggest a baby eat there? I am sorry you are so ignorant as to what is best for a baby. What is a mother supposed to do if her baby will not take a bottle? Not all babies are able to, or their mother doesn't want them to. Nursing in public is a natural and beautiful thing so if you dont want to see it, then why not stay home?


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