Breastfeeding in public – you can help.
Many of you have emailed me after reading my Amtrak story to ask whether there are laws in Massachusetts that protect women breastfeeding in public. As it turns out, there are not. But there is legislation in progress. From what I can see, the bill that passed through the Senate (S 2438) offers broader protection than the one that went through the House of Representatives (H 1568) by including private places as well as public ones (I couldn’t figure out if the train would qualify as a public or private place at the time – I’m still not really sure). In any case, we can encourage our lawmakers to move this along.
You can find a list of state legislators here. Simply locate the name of the state senator in your area and send him or her an email or make a quick phone call. Just say that you support a woman’s right to breastfeed her hungry baby whenever and where ever she wants to. Massachusetts is one of just 13 states without any law protecting breastfeeding in public, a real embarrassment in a state where 77% of new moms will initiate breastfeeding.
Just taking the time to get in touch will make a difference, but if you want to draft a longer letter, the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition has some good tips for contacted elected officials here.
If you live in Brookline, Wellesley and Newton, our state senator is Cynthia Creem. Her phone number is 617-722-1639 and her email address is Cynthia.Creem@state.ma.us.