Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, and heart disease. Babies are less likely to develop a whole host of illnesses from ear infections to diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding also protects baby against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Premature babies experience additional benefits.

What is the public breastfeeding law in New York State?

New York State law states that “[a] mother may breastfeed any place she has a right to be”.

What is wrong with asking a mom to move to the restroom or cover up?

It implies that a mother and baby are engaging in a shameful or distasteful act when she is simply feeding her baby. A restroom is not a hygienic location to feed a baby. For some babies, being covered disrupts the breastfeeding process.

Why can’t the mother just bring a bottle or breastfeed before she leaves home?

Breastfeeding is a complex biological relationship that can be disrupted by bottle-feeding. Babies often eat on an irregular schedule and it’s important to feed the baby when s/he is hungry.

What about the right of others to not see someone breastfeed in public, especially while eating?

If breastfeeding offends someone, they may ignore it, turn away, ask to be seated in another location or leave. A breastfeeding mother and baby are not responsible for another person’s comfort level.

Are there really that many mothers breastfeeding in public?

Yes, over 80% of the 10,000 mothers who give birth annually initiate breastfeeding in Rochester. People don’t realize how often babies are breastfed in public.

How should we respond if other patrons complain?

One option might be, “I hear you and understand that you’re uncomfortable. However, our policy is to welcome breastfeeding within our establishment. Is there something that I can do to help you feel more comfortable? Would you like me to find you a different seat?”

How much does it cost to be a Breastfeeding Welcome Here business?

Nothing- any business can be welcoming to breastfeeding mothers and babies. In fact, businesses that choose to partner with the Coalition will receive a window decal and will be listed on our website’s online directory. Joining us helps us to educate breastfeeding mothers about the many supportive businesses who would welcome them while providing them with the business services they need.

How can I educate my staff about this topic?

We have resources for you that can help you educate your staff about why welcoming breastfeeding mothers is important for businesses and how they can create a welcoming environment. A well-informed staff is critical to the support of customers who are breastfeeding mothers.

How can we get more information?

The website for the Rochester Regional Breastfeeding Coalition has many resources, including a link to “The Business Case for Breastfeeding” and sample breastfeeding support policies. You can access it at rochesterregionalbreastfeedingcoalition.com.