Rights to Breast/chestfeed or Express Milk

New York State (NYS) has laws to protect and support breast/chestfeeding. While DOH remains committed to gender inclusive language, some of the affiliated links may contain gendered language.

Rights to Breast/chestfeed in Any Public or Private Location

NYS Civil Rights law provides a parent the right to breast/chestfeed their baby in any location, public or private, where the parent is otherwise allowed to be, whether or not the nipple of the breast/chest is covered during breast/chestfeeding.

How to file a civil rights complaint through the Office of the Attorney General:

  • Attorney General New York complaint number: 1-800-771-7755
  • Submit a complaint using their Online Form

Rights of Lactating Employees Returning to Work

NYS Nursing Mothers in the Workplace law provides parents the right to nurse or pump at their workplace up to three years following the birth of their baby.

NYS Paid Family Leave law provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job protected, paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.

Rights of Pregnant and Postpartum People in Hospitals and Clinics

The Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights requires health care providers and hospitals providing maternity care services to inform expectant and new parents of their rights in support of breast/chestfeeding.

Maternity Information: Childbirth Services: NYS Public Health Law requires each hospital to provide information about its childbirth practices and procedures. This information can help you better understand what to expect, learn more about childbirth choices, and plan for baby's birth.

Complaints about NY Hospitals and Diagnostic and Treatment Centers: To make a complaint, call the toll-free number at 1-800-804-5447, or print and complete the Health Facility Complaint Form.