Illinois has six laws that protect a woman's right to breastfeed. The La Leche League International lists Illinois law in detail.
1. Clarifying that breastfeeding is not public indecency
2. Authorizing a public information campaign
3. Providing for a program in WIC for lactation support, including payment for equipment and services
4. Providing accommodations for employed mothers who are breastfeeding
5. Clarifying a mother’s right to breastfeed in public
6. Exempting breastfeeding mothers from jury duty upon request.
I am not one of those people who turns her nose up to people who bottle feed. I just know from experience that a lot of people choose to bottle feed because that is what their mom did or what their friend did. Sometimes the decision is made to bottle feed because the mom doesn't know all the facts about the topic. Here's some information on why people choose to breastfeed:
The General Assembly finds that breast milk offers better nutrition, immunity, and digestion, and may raise a baby's IQ, and that breastfeeding offers other benefits such as improved mother-baby bonding, and its encouragement has been established as a major goal of this decade by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund. The General Assembly finds and declares that the Surgeon General of the United States recommends that babies be fed breastmilk, unless medically contraindicated, in order to attain an optimal healthy start.
This doesn't mean that if you choose to bottle feed you are a bad mother. It is just information lot of moms or soon-to-be moms don't know. I have had several smart women say to me they don't know whether they will try breastfeeding when they have a baby. Once I tell them why breastfeeding is recommended, they usually see why it might be a good idea to try it. And there are certainly women who try to breastfeed and it doesn't work out. That has to be frustrating!
If you are considering breastfeeding and you don't live in Illinois, here's a link to breastfeeding legislation in other states in the U.S. That way you know your rights before someone tells you can't take 10 minutes to pump during the work day.
BTW, my boss gave me time to pump everyday for 12 months. She gave me no grief about it, but I doubt all boss's are like that! I can see how with some jobs, pumping everyday just isn't possible. Good luck in your efforts!
I am handing out Awards to local companies who are breastfeeding friendly Wednesday on the Peoria Riverfront at Festival Park. The event is from 4-7p.m. The Central Illinois Breastfeeding Task Force will be giving away breast pumps, slings, baby t-shirts and a special grand prize! I hope to see you there!
Here's more on the law concerning breastfeeding.
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