Susan Brown is a lactation consultant with the Barren River Area District Health Department. She says: "We've been waiting for this law for a long time. It didn't just happen overnight. We've known about it in the breastfeeding world for a long time and have been supporting it. We're really excited."
The excitement is all about Senate Bill 106. It explicitly permits mothers to breastfeed their baby or express their breast milk in public and prevents anyone from interfering with a mother breastfeeding in public.
Brown says: "What it means is that all breastfeeding moms in Kentucky now have no fear of breastfeeding in public. Before the law was a little bit fuzzy and a mom might be asked to leave a mall or restaurant, anywhere she might be breastfeeding her baby."
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for newborns and is recommended exclusively for the first six months of a child's life, but the decision is always up to the mother. At the health department they've devoted a small room to nursing mother's to make it easier for them. Something Brown says more businesses and mothers could benefit from.
Brown says: "If you're made to feel like you're doing something criminal just because you're feeding your baby, that's going to make you rethink whether you want to breastfeed or not."
Under the new law breastfeeding mothers could not be charged with public indecency, indecent exposure, or obscenity for doing so.
Brown says: "Women expose more on the beach than they do breastfeeding, so we're really glad we have this law. It's silly that we needed the law, but we did!"
Next month is World Breastfeeding Month.