Missouri Breastfeeding Laws: The Rights of a Mom and Baby

A few months ago, we discussed Georgia breastfeeding laws, but today let’s move over to Missouri to know the rights of a breastfeeding mother and her child.

So, are breastfeeding mothers allowed to express or pump milk in the workplace or public place?

In Missouri, there are no state legislation or laws to protect a breastfeeding mother and her baby — both in the public place and workplace. However, the federal law allows breastfeeding mothers to have reasonable break time and a secluded place (not a bathroom) to breastfeed or pump milk.

The fact that women breast has been sex rated over the years, has proven it difficult for mothers to deliver what was earlier meant to be a way of nurturing young ones.

You can be sued because of taking out your titties to feed your crying child in public; that is if someone finds it offensive or indecent.

Before civilization, and of course, the innovation of clothes from hides man used to live like other wild animals, taking care of the young ones in their natural habitat until they were able to feed for themselves.

Every young one is born vulnerable and it is only mothers nurturing that make them survive, otherwise many young ones die due to parental neglect.

Each time a mother is arraigned in court for indecency in public, organizations that advocate for free expression of breast milk to a child come up in defense for them.

But the question is; are there any laws in place that protect nursing mothers against these kinds of accusations?

The decision to breastfeed your child is a great one as breast milk contains a lot of antibodies that prevent the attack of diseases, it is also easily palatable.

For you to breastfeed your child to their full, a perfect environment away from people’s stares is what the Missouri legislature provides for you.

 It is a physiological process for the milk to move out of the ducts and flow for the baby, therefore, the right environment is required.

Missouri breastfeeding laws (An Overview of Breastfeeding laws)

In 1999 the Missouri legislature passed a law that gives a mother the right to breastfeed a child, with as much discretion as possible, in any place that the mother and child are allowed to be.

The above places can be either public spaces.

It also indicated that all ambulances and hospitals that provide maternity services should educate the new mothers on breastfeeding and its benefit to them and their newborns, they should also be available if the mother has any questions concerning breastfeeding her child.

The laws were later amended by the House Bill 1320 and were effective from 28th august 2014 they stated that

  • It is not a sexual act or an act of indecency for a mother to breastfeed in public, neither is it in any way a measure of being indecent in public.
  • The law changed the wordings of the 1999 law to a mother should breastfeed their child with discretion scraping out the part on with as much discretion as possible.
  • They concluded that a municipality should not pass any by-laws or ordinances that prevent a woman from feeding her child.
  • That a mother with a letter of consent from her physician that at the time she is nursing shall be exempted from jury duty.

Missouri is the only state that has set laws that specifically state that, a woman can breastfeed anywhere she feels comfortable and, in a position, to breastfeed her baby without being sued. Other states are just vague about it.

 Working mothers are protected by the department of labor of their respective countries, for example, the U.S. Department of Labor states on section 7® of the fair standards act on break time for nursing mothers’ provision that;

  • Every employer who employs more than 50 people should provide space, other than the restroom, with a lockable door and a comfortable chair other than a toilet seat where the mother can comfortably breastfeed their child.
  • The employer is required to allow enough break time for the mother to express breast milk to their children, this time should however not be compensated if the mother works overtime to cover up for the break-time.

This subsection does not in any way hinder any other state from providing better protection to breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

The rights of a mom and her baby

For the longest time in history, the rights of women and children have been ignored by leaders and legislatures from all over the world, the universal declaration of human rights has fought for the recognition of women as equal members of the society with equal capabilities.

From these rights where the rights of children and women can now be recognized.

Rights of a mother

The law recognizes the mother as the primary caregiver of a child, this means that they are responsible for the child except in cases where the mother passes on during childbirth or is of unsound mind at the time of the childbirth.

Parental responsibilities, those that a mother holds on her child are defined as the rights, powers, and responsibilities that are granted to the guardian or parent of the child regarding the wellbeing and property owned by the child.

  • A mother has a right to decide the child’s residence, on the basis that the child will be catered for properly.
  • A right to choose where the child gets their education and monitor the child’s progress.
  • A right to choose where the child gets healthcare services, it does not, however, apply to parents who lock inside their disabled and sick children.
  • A right to change the child’s name.
  • A right to choose the child’s religious affiliation.
  • A mother has the right to give consent when their child is traveling abroad

Mothers custody rights

Most states have different laws regarding the custody rights of a child, however, they tend to look over the interest of the child as compared to parents, this includes the relationship between the child and the parent.

Custody rights are divided into:

  • Legal custody
  • Physical custody.

Legal custody, this is the right to make decisions for your child regarding matters such as healthcare, education, religion, and name.

This right is usually shared between the parents and consultation need to be done.

Physical custody includes spending time with your child, every parent is entitled to a right to see or visit their child; where there is no legal protection.

Custody is automatically granted to a mother of a child that is born out of wedlock, but this can be reversed if the child’s best interest is not met.

Rights of a child

The declaration of Geneva that was adopted after the 1st world war recognized the rights of children for the first time in history.

The declaration of children rights by the UN further helped in the recognition of children rights in 1958. The international conventions on the rights of a child of 1989 finally sealed the document on the rights of a child.

Children’s rights are in this text subdivided into the rights of a child as a human being and the rights of a child adapted for children.

Human rights

Right to life, every human is entitled to the right to life by the constitution. No other human being can take away this right.

The civil and political rights, every child has the right to belong to a country and have the nationality of their country of birth.

Economic and cultural, every child is entitled to get an education, live in the right conditions and the right to medical care.

Individual rights are the rights that promote the wellbeing of the child such as the right to protection from abuse and forced labor.

Collective rights, every child has the rights of a refugee, the disabled and those of the minority children.

Rights of a child as a child

  • Children have a right to physical and mental development.
  • Children have the right to be provided with the basic amenities, for example, food, shelter, clothing, and education.
  • Children have the right to be protected from any vulnerabilities.
  • Children should be protected from any mistreatment or any form of violence for example forced labor and exploitation.
  • Children have a right to parental care from both parents, o one should forcefully take away a child from their parent except with a court order.

Importance of breastfeeding your child

Breastfeeding has vast benefits both to the mother and child

Importance of breastfeeding to mothers

  • Economic, breastfeeding is economic as all you have to do is be there with your child, it cuts the cost of buying and preparing baby formula.
  • Time-saving, it is quicker to breastfeed a child that it is to prepare formula or pump out milk, for as long as the baby latches properly they will be satisfied in a matter of minutes.
  • Hormones release, breastfeeding creates a permanent bond between the mother and the child. The mother is the first person who connects with the child during the expression of breast milk.
  • Reduce bad smelling poop and urine, mothers’ milk is palatable and direct from the source thus does not meet contaminants that might make your child develop complications, like a smelly gas or urine.
  • Reduce breast cancer, breastfeeding effectively for the first 6 months of childbirth has been proven to reduce breast cancer in women.
  • Prevent excessive bleeding, the bond created between a child and a mother prevents excessive bleeding to both the child and the mother. The child and mother should be placed into and let to stay in contact with each other for the longest time possible.
  • Gift, breastfeeding your child is the best thing you can do to your child, it has all the positive impacts on a child, like being immune to diseases and having a strong bubbly child.

Importance of breastfeeding your child

  • Mothers milk is almost balanced to contain all the baby’s nutritional needs and promotes the development of a healthy baby.
  • It is an easy palatable meal that is designed by nature.
  • It transfers acquired immunity from the mother to the child against infection and allergies.
  • It lowers the occurrence of childhood cancer.

Breastfeeding tips

  • Ensure the baby gets into contact with the mother usually skin to skin and that the baby is fed in the first hour.
  • Rooming-in, the mother and child should be in one room so they can get to connect and the mother can get to learn the babies’ cues.
  • Breastfeed when the baby is hungry, the baby will be much more willing to suckle when they show hunger signs like suckling the fist, making suckling sounds or showing discomfort signs even when changed and warm.
  • Breastfeed your child exclusively for the first six months of their life, it ensures that the child grows to be healthy. Do not use bottles or pacifiers.
  • Breast pumps, in situations where the mother cannot breastfeed either due to health reasons, it is advisable to provide the mother with pumps so the child can get the first shot within the first hour.

Final thoughts

It is the right of a child to receive absolute care and protection, which include food, shelter, clothing and other needs such as education, on the other hand, it is the duty and responsibility of the parent to provide.

For centuries now, children and women have been mistreated by society. In the 19th century, they were overworked and underpaid in the industries and coal mines, they were also used in wars until the revolutionization of women and children’s rights.

Different organizations have been formed to educate citizens on the need to respect human rights as a whole.

Every child is entitled to proper parental care, which includes the provision of the basic amenities’ food, housing, and clothing. In the 21st century, it is also a requirement that every child should have at least a basic education.

Children need protection from exploitation either for labor, sexually or in wars.

The last centuries we witnessed massive injustices being done to the feeble in the society. It is the duty of every one of us to stand up whenever we see injustices being done to them.

Indecency in public is one of the minor things s that women are sued for nowadays in some states just because of breastfeeding in public, of course, you cannot ask someone in public whether they are comfortable with you breastfeeding your child.

Find a comfortable place and get it over with.

The fact that women breast has been sex rated over the years has proven it difficult for mothers to deliver what was earlier meant to be nature’s way of nurturing young ones.

You can be charged because of taking out your titties to feed your crying child, that is if someone finds it offensive.

Before civilization, and of course, the innovation of clothes from hides man used to live like other wild animals, taking care of the young ones in their natural habitat until they were able to feed for themselves.

Every young one is born vulnerable and it is only mothers nurturing that make them survive, otherwise many young ones die due to parental neglect.