Monday, June 15, 2009

Travels with Baby: Breastfeeding

Nursing? Planning a road trip?

Here are some things I wish I would have done.

I should have checked up on the state laws concerning breast feeding for the states in which we found ourselves. In our case, that was Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Turns out that, out of those, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, "have laws with language specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location." Wisconsin, as well as Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.

How nice of them.

For an example, here are Minnesota's laws:

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 145.894 directs the state commissioner of health to develop and implement a public education program promoting the provisions of the Maternal and Child Nutrition Act. The education programs must include a campaign to promote breastfeeding.

Minn. Stat. § 145.905 provides that a mother may breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Minn. Stat. § 181.939 (1998) requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. (SB 2751)

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 617.23 specifies that breastfeeding does not constitute indecent exposure

Pete thought is was odd that I would have to think about state laws when it comes to feeding our baby, but there you have it. It's still so fun to be a girl, sometimes. The things that we have to consider can be very different, even if it has nothing to do with babies or children or reproduction.

I also wish that I would have brought my manual pump. My pump can use a car adapter, but it turns out that the plug in on the pump is recessed, and the adapter I had would not fit. We tried to find one on the road and while we were in civilization, but had no luck. I ended up buying an 18 dollar manual pump and using that on the way home. It worked really well.

Of course, now I have three breast pumps.

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