As a mom, most of you probably experienced sometime or other the unwelcoming look when breastfeeding in public. In worst cases, you might have been asked to relocate to a private location to breastfeed. However, we are excited to share the news that breastfeeding in public is now FINALLY legal in all 50 U.S. states. What a long time coming! With the new legislation, Utah and Idaho finally join the other 48 states in establishing legal protection to nursing moms who need to breastfeed in public.

Nonetheless, due to the legislation of breastfeeding being modified from time to time, most people did not keep up-to-date with the laws of public breastfeeding, and this is what we need to change. Furthermore, with all the benefits of breastfeeding, moms should not continue to face criticism for feeding their babies out in public, and no moms should ever have to hide or feel ashamed when breastfeeding their baby. Breastfeeding in public can be inconvenient in certain situations, so consider investing in some one-hand clip nursing bra and nursing tops to ease your trouble. A baby sling can also come in handy by using it as a cover when you breastfeed.

We should be more supportive of each other and know our right as a nursing mom. A few starters will be to look up the duration of maternity leave, insurance policy, and the rights of employed breastfeeding moms in your country. For instance, in the U.S.:

1. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected maternity leave for up to 12 weeks
   *United States is one of the only countries in the world that has not passed laws
   requiring business and corporations to offer paid maternity leave
2. The Affordable Care Act protected moms by covering the costs of breast pumps and lactation consultants through insurance
3. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to offer reasonable break time and a place that is not the bathroom for moms to express breast milk
   *It does not cover employees working in a certain field, or who work at a company with
   less than $500,000 annual earning or less than 50 employees

In an ideal world, there should be paid maternity and paternity leave, and the city-level laws should align with federal law by covering all working women, regardless of how many hours per week they work or the size of the company they work in. There is still a long way to go, and it is up to us to know our rights and create a more breastfeeding-friendly world. More steps should be taken to give women the knowledge and access to the best options available for feeding her baby, so should information about up-to-date breastfeeding laws in the workplace and public. Support breastfeeding with Mamaway, and let us work together to make all of these accessible to women around the world.

Mia Lo
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