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Virginia's breastfeeding laws

how are you protected?


REPORTING VIOLATIONS OF VIRGINIA BREASTFEEDING LAWS:


If you have a question or concern about this law or feel your rights 
have been violated please email vabreastfeeds@vdh.virginia.gov


If you live in the Hampton Roads area, you many also let CINCH, the Consortium 
for Infant and Child Health,  know of your experience, as they are tracking these 
incidents. Additionally, they offer training to the site where it occurred so that 
it won’t happen again. 


VIRGINIA’S GUIDE TO BREASTFEEDING LAWS FOR BUSINESSES - a fact sheet for printing and sharing. This fact sheet was developed by the Virginia Department of Health  in collaboration with Old Dominion School of Nursing & CINCH/Eastern Virginia Medical School.


SUMMARY OF ENACTED BREASTFEEDING LEGISLATION IN VIRGINIA


Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002, 2015) guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child on in any place where the mother is lawfully present, including any location where she would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased or controlled by the state. The bill also stipulates that childbirth and related medical conditions specified in the Virginia Human Rights Act include activities of lactation, including breastfeeding and expression of milk by a mother for her child. (HB 1264, HB 1499)


If you have a question or concern about this law or feel your rights have been violated please email vabreastfeeds@vdh.virginia.gov


Va. Code  18.2-387 (1994) exempts mothers engaged in breastfeeding from indecent exposure laws.


Va. Code 2.2-1147.1 (2002) guarantees a woman the right to breast-feed her child on any property owned, leased or controlled by the state. The bill also stipulates that childbirth and related medical conditions specified in the Virginia Human Rights Act include activities of lactation, including breast-feeding and expression of milk by a mother for her child. (H.B. 1264)


HJ 145 (2002) Encourages employers to recognize the benefits of breastfeeding and to provide unpaid break time and appropriate space for employees to breast-feed or express milk.


Va. Chapter No. 195 (2005) Provides that a mother who is breast-feeding a child may be exempted from jury duty upon her request. The mother need not be “necessarily and personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care . . . during normal court hours” as the existing statute provides.

Photo Caption

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signs a bill into law on March 9, 2015 that will protect Virginia mothers who choose to breastfeed in public after July 1, 2015.  At the time, Virginia was only one of three states that did not protect breastfeeding mothers in public spaces.  The Commonwealth’s previous law only promised not to arrest nursing mothers for indecent exposure.  Photo Virginia Governor’s Office.

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