Because it is the law in Tennessee to permit a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, most businesses are already providing this level of access and comfort to their patrons. However, there are some businesses and employees that may be unaware of this current law. This can cause an awkward and embarrassing situation for the mother that is simply feeding her child. This campaign’s aim is for businesses to demonstrate their support for breastfeeding by making a commitment through a pledge, and then displaying a clearly visible window decal.
Breastfeeding moms need all the support they can get. By taking the “Breastfeeding Welcomed Here” pledge you will be agreeing to provide a welcoming environment where breastfeeding mothers are able to sit anywhere and enjoy a welcoming attitude from staff, management and other patrons while breastfeeding.
The goal of this campaign is to encourage more women to breastfeed their babies and for a longer duration by making our community more friendly to breastfeeding families.
The use of this symbol will be to both alert moms to public locations where they can breastfeed comfortably and to encourage that breastfeeding is normal, accepted, and welcomed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for a minimum of one year. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of two years.
According to the Academy of Pediatrics, the lack of support for breastfeeding is one of the obstacles to its success. If our culture embraces breastfeeding as the normal way to feed infants, more women will breastfeed and the health statistics will likely change for the better.
Permits a mother to breastfeed in any location, public or private, that the mother is authorized to be, and prohibits local governments from criminalizing or restricting breastfeeding. Specifies that the act of breastfeeding shall not be considered public indecency as defined by § 39-13-511; or nudity, obscene, or sexual conduct as defined in § 39-17-901. (HB 3582)
What is the big deal?
It’s the law. Additionally, many mothers are afraid to breastfeed in public because of lack of societal support. The problem is big enough that it keeps many from breastfeeding at all or causes them to end their breastfeeding relationship before the minimum guidelines suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of getting breast and ovarian cancers, and their babies are less likely to develop numerous conditions from earaches to diabetes and obesity.
What is wrong with asking a mom to move to the restroom or cover up?
It implies that the mother and baby are engaging in a shameful or distasteful act when they are simply feeding their child.
Why can’t the mother just bring a bottle or nurse before she leaves home?
Breastfeeding is a complex relationship that can be disrupted by bottle-feeding. Babies often eat on an irregular schedule and it’s important to feed the baby on demand.
What about the right of others to not see someone nurse in public, especially while eating?
If breastfeeding offends someone, they may ignore it, turn away, ask to be moved or leave. A nursing mother and baby are not responsible for another person’s comfort level.
Are there really that many mothers breastfeeding in public?
Yes. People don’t realize how often babies are breastfed in public because mothers and babies are so skilled at it that it often doesn’t register with viewers.
How should you respond if people do complain?
“I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable. However, that mother is within her legal rights to breastfeed in public.”