Breastfeeding in Public without a cover
Is it a new trend to openly nurse in public without a cover?
What did our foremothers do “back in the day?”
Nursing in public seemed to be a non-issue in colonial America. Our foremothers were expected to maintain a busy household, which included feeding the baby, and breastfeeding in the market or other public areas was not a cause for uproar. At that time, breastfeeding was the only way to feed a baby, either by the natural mother or a wet-nurse. The Puritans believed breasts were created for the nourishment of children and strongly encouraged women to nurse their own babies. Breastfeeding in public was commonplace for colonial women because they lived in a society that supported breastfeeding.
There are plenty of reasons a mom may not cover while breastfeeding. The baby could not allow it, and repeatedly remove the cover, or get frustrated and cry. It could be too hot after all we live in the desert, and a mother doesn't want her child to get too hot and sweaty. Did you know babies benefit from eye contact while breastfeeding? Believe it or not, covers draw more attention. Sometimes the mother simply doesn't wish to cover, and that is their legal right.
The following federal laws protect a mother and her child and their right to nurse anytime, anywhere on federal property. Federal property includes such things as museums, parks, courthouses, agencies, and other public places maintained by federal funds.
"At the federal government level, Public Law 106-58, Section 647 states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.”
Laws vary by state and most states have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location."
In Arizona, the law clearly says a mother is entitled to breastfeed her child in public and is not subject to indecent exposure laws. A.R.S. 41-1443 A mother is entitled to breastfeed in any area of a public place or a place of public accommodation where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.
In celebration of National Breastfeeding Week, I present to you a gallery of our foremothers breastfeeding without a cover, enjoy.