Mothers, Advocates Gather To Celebrate 20th Anniversary Of Breastfeeding Law

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mothers and breastfeeding advocates gathered Friday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a state law protecting a woman’s right to breastfeed anywhere, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported.

“It’s natural, it’s cheaper and easier,” one woman said.

More than 100 mothers jumped on the A train for Friday’s breatsfeeding “subway caravan.”

The law allows women to breastfeed in public without being harassed or facing a fine for indecent exposure.

“That means they can breastfeed in the subway, they can breastfeed in the park, they can breastfeed in Barnes & Noble,” advocate Theresa Landau said.

As Miller reported, the advocates say it’s not simply a life choice, but a public health issue.

Researchers say breastfeeding prevents infant deaths and saves $13 billion a year in the United States.

“It helps support decreasing infection, it helps support brain development,” Aletha Maybank with the Health Department said.

The controversial city-wide program, Latch On NYC, took effect in September 2012 and aimed as supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed their newborns.

But despite the law and city-wide push, some see breastfeeding as an act to be done in private.

“It galls me to know that we have a naked cowboy in New York, he’s not breastfeeding, but for me, who’s doing something natural, I’m discriminated against,” one mother said.

In April, a Long Island mother contemplated suing the Riverhead Police Department after being scolded for breastfeeding her daughter.

Breastfeeding was again a hot topic this week as new mother Olivia Wilde made headlines for a breastfeeding photo published in Glamour magazine.

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