On Thursday, August 28, the bill signed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon that excuses breastfeeding mothers from jury duty, with a doctor’s written excuse, and protects them from public indecency charges when nursing or pumping milk in public, becomes law. HB#1320 was passed by all members of the Missouri General Assembly, without a single “nay” vote.
Breastfeeding is becoming more common and seeing breastfeeding mothers in public places is more of the norm. We applaud The Gladstone Pool and the City of Gladstone, MO for supporting a local mother this week, after she was asked by a pool employee to move to a “private” area to nurse her baby. She refused, and after discussion with the staff, they realized they were in the wrong and upheld her right to breastfeed right where she was. Gladstone Parks and Rec director Sheila Lillis is to be commended for handling the situation in a positive manner.
Here are links to two reports on this story:
Mother & Child Health Coalition (MCHC) is a strong supporter of breastfeeding, because the benefits to both mother and baby are significant. Benefits include a reduced risk of childhood infections and conditions such as obesity, asthma and Diabetes later in life. Breastfeeding also saves families money: formula may cost $1,500 or more for the first year of a baby’s life, and health care costs could be less if there are fewer ear infections and other illnesses.
MCHC and community partners are working to promote breastfeeding and support lactating mothers in their places of employment. Over the last few years, we have presented a number of local organizations and businesses with our Employer Support for Nursing Mothers Award. As a matter of fact, Mother & Child Health Coalition is the “parenting coalition” (mentioned in the Fox4 story) that presented the City of Gladstone with the award earlier this year. CLICK HERE for a complete list.