Connecticut law protects a mother’s right to breastfeed in public and workplace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 5, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The State of Connecticut and breastfeeding advocates are offering a new resource to help businesses, employees, and parents understand and comply with Connecticut’s breastfeeding workplace and public accommodation laws.
Connecticut law allows mothers to breastfeed their babies in public places and the workplace. The law also protects employed mothers’ rights to express milk during the workday.
The Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition joined with the Departments of Public Health and Labor, and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to create the “Guide to Connecticut Breastfeeding Nondiscrimination and Workplace Accommodation Laws.” (link) The guide answers frequently asked questions, such as “Why can’t the mother cover the baby when nursing?” and “Do I need to provide a special room or space for an employee who wants to breastfeed or express milk at work?”
The guide also details what recourse a woman has when she believes her rights to breastfeed have been violated under Connecticut’s breastfeeding laws.
Michele Griswold, chairperson of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition, said that “most people want mothers and infants to be healthy, but not all understand the connection between breastfeeding and improved health outcomes. Taking steps to remove barriers for breastfeeding mothers and their children is a win-win situation for everyone. Increased breastfeeding rates ultimately mean healthier communities.”
According to state health officials, one of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed. Although most mothers in the United States hope to breastfeed - and 75% of babies start out being breastfed - only 13% are exclusively breastfed 6 months later.
The guide is available online at: www.breastfeedingct.org or by calling 860-509-8261.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.