Louisiana enacted the first law prohibiting child care facilities from discriminating against breastfed babies in 2003. Previously in 2001, Louisiana enacted a breastfeeding in public law which had set forth the importance of breastfeeding, and stated that it is discrimination to prohibit a mother from breastfeeding her baby in public. Moreover, it also stated that it is segregation to ask to go to a different place to breastfeed.
L.R.S. 51 § 2247.1
Section 2247.1. Breastfeeding; Discriminatory Practices Prohibited
A. Legislative Findings and Declarations.
(1) The Legislature of Louisiana hereby finds that the Surgeon General of the United States recommends that babies from birth to one year of age be breastfed, unless medically contraindicated, in order for the babies to attain an optimal healthy start in life, but that despite that recommendation, statistics reveal a declining percentage of mothers who are now choosing to breastfeed their babies, and nearly half of all new mothers are choosing formula over breastfeeding before they even leave the hospital.
(2) The Legislature further finds that breast milk provides better nutrition and more immunity to disease, is easier for babies to digest, and may raise a baby’s intelligence quotient, but that the social constraints of modern society work against the choice of breastfeeding and lead new mothers with demanding time schedules to opt for formula feeding for reasons such as embarrassment and the fear of social ostracism or criminal prosecution.
(3) The Legislature does hereby declare that the promotion of family values and infant health demands that our society put an end to the vicious cycle of embarrassment and ignorance that constricts women and men alike on the subject of breastfeeding, and that in a genuine effort to promote family values, our society should encourage public acceptance of this most basic act of nurture between mother and baby and should take appropriate steps to ensure that no mother is made to feel incriminated or socially ostracized for breastfeeding her baby.
B. Right to Breastfeed.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a mother may breastfeed her baby in any place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement.
C. “Discriminatory Practice in Connection with Public Accommodations” to Include a Discriminatory Practice Against a Mother Breastfeeding her Baby.
Any direct or indirect act or practice of exclusion, distinction, restriction, segregation, limitation, refusal, denial, or any other act or practice of differentiation or preference in the treatment of a mother breastfeeding her baby shall be a “discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations” for the purposes of this chapter.
D. Breastfeeding; Discriminatory Practices Prohibited.
It is a discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement, as defined in this chapter, on the grounds that the individual is a mother breastfeeding her baby. This discriminatory practice in connection with public accommodations is prohibited.
E. Breastfeeding Not a Violation of Law.
A mother breastfeeding her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, shall not be deemed to be in violation of r.s. 14:106 or of any other provision of law.