In 1984, New York exempted breastfeeding of infants from their criminal statute, and later, protected a mother’s right to breastfeed in public. Moreover, later in 1997, New York adopted legislation giving mother the right to use break time to express break milk. New York is the only state to make provisions for female inmates with infants.
N.Y. Labor Law §206-c. Right of nursing mothers to express breast milk.
An employer shall provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following child birth. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee can express milk in privacy. No employer shall discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the work place.
NY Penal Laws § 245.01, 245.02
§ 245.01. Exposure of a person
A person is guilty of exposure if he appears in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.
§ 245.02. Promoting the exposure of a person
A person is guilty of promoting the exposure of a person when he knowingly conducts, maintains, owns, manages, operates or furnishes any public premise or place where a person in a public place appears in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.
NY CLS Civ R § 79-e
§ 79-E. Right To Breast Feed.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding.
NY CLS Correc §
§ 611. Births to inmates of correctional institutions and care of children of inmates of correctional institutions
1. If a woman confined in any institution under the control of the state department of correction, or in any penitentiary or jail be pregnant and about to give birth to a child, the officer in charge of such institution, a reasonable time before the anticipated birth of such child, shall cause such woman to be removed from such institution and provided with comfortable accommodations, maintenance and medical care elsewhere, under such supervision and safeguards to prevent her escape from custody as he may determine, and subject to her return to such institution as soon after the birth of her child as the state of her health will permit…
2. A child so born may be returned with its mother to the correctional institution in which the mother is confined unless the chief medical officer of the correctional institution shall certify that the mother is physically unfit to care for the child, in which case the statement of the said medical officer shall be final. A child may remain in the correctional institution with its mother for such period as seems desirable for the welfare of such child, but not after it is one year of age, provided, however, if the mother is in a state reformatory and is to be paroled shortly after the child becomes one year of age, such child may remain at the state reformatory until its mother is paroled, but in no case after the child is eighteen months old. The officer in charge of such institution may cause a child cared for therein with its mother to be removed from the institution at any time before the child is one year of age…
3. If any woman, committed to any such correctional institution at the time of such commitment is the mother of a nursing child in her care under one year of age, such child may accompany her to such institution if she is physically fit to have the care of such child, subject to the provisions of subdivision two of this section. If any woman committed to any such institution at the time of such commitment is the mother of and has under her exclusive care a child more than one year of age the justice or magistrate committing such woman shall refer such child to the commissioner of public welfare or other officer or board exercising in relation to children the power of a commissioner of public welfare of the county from which the woman is committed to be cared for as provided by law in the case of a child becoming dependent upon the county.
N.Y. PBH § 2505. Human breast milk; collection, storage and distribution; general powers of the commissioner.
The Commissioner is hereby empowered to:
(a) adopt regulations and guidelines including, but not limited to donor standards, methods of collection, and standards for storage, and distribution of human breast milk;
(b) conduct educational activities to inform the public and health care providers of the availability of human breast milk for infants determined to require such milk and to inform potential donors of the opportunities for proper donation;
(c) establish rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of this section.