Missouri

Missouri enacted a law in 1999, that requires new mothers be given information by the hospitals on breastfeeding and the benefits to the child, as well as information on local breastfeeding support groups. Moreover, the law requires them to offer breastfeeding consultations to new mothers when determined appropriate by the attending physician. All physicians who provide ob/gyn care shall inform patients as to prenatal preparation for and postnatal benefits of breastfeeding.

R.S.Mo. § 191.915, § 191.918

§ 191.915. Breast-feeding information provided, when, by whom
1. Every hospital, as defined in section 197.020, and ambulatory surgical center, as defined in section 197.200, that provides obstetrical care shall:
(1) Provide new mothers, where appropriate as determined by the attending physician, with information on breast-feeding and the benefits to the child; and
(2) Provide new mothers, where appropriate as determined by the attending physician, with information on local breast-feeding support groups; or
(3) Offer breast-feeding consultations to new mothers, where appropriate as determined by the attending physician.

2. Beginning January 1, 2000, every licensed physician who provides obstetrical or gynecological consultation shall, where appropriate as determined by such physician, inform patients as to the prenatal preparation for and postnatal benefits of breast-feeding a child.

3. The department of health shall produce written information on breast-feeding and the health benefits to the child, and shall distribute such information to physicians described in subsection 2 of this section and to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers described in subsection 1 of this section upon request.

§ 191.918.

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mother may, with discretion, breast-feed her child or express breast milk in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

2. The act of a mother breast-feeding a child or expressing breast milk in a public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be shall not:

(1) Constitute sexual conduct or sexual contact as defined in section 566.010; or

(2) Be considered an act of public indecency, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, or obscenity or any other similar term for purposes of state or municipal law.

3. A municipality shall not enact an ordinance prohibiting or restricting a mother from breast-feeding a child or expressing breast milk in a public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be.




Inside Missouri