LANSING – The Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act, introduced by Senator Rebekah Warren (D – Ann Arbor), which would allow mothers to breastfeed their child in any place that they are otherwise legally allowed to be, passed in the Michigan Senate today.
“I am delighted that so many of my Senate colleagues have joined me in my efforts to ensure Michigan’s mothers can feel confident and secure in nursing their children in public places. Breastfeeding provides innumerable benefits to the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies, and I am pleased by the bipartisan support that has been shown on this issue,” said Senator Warren. “Michigan remains one of the few states that fail to protect mothers from being harassed, segregated, or otherwise discouraged from breastfeeding, and I look forward to helping increase acceptance of this healthy and economical practice.”
While the American Academy of Pediatrics has always endorsed breastfeeding as the optimal form of nutrition, the State of Michigan falls short of federal target goals for breastfeeding in the early postpartum period, at six months, and at one year of age. This shortfall not only impacts infant health, but also has far-reaching implications in the workplace, as a mother’s decision to breastfeed results in reduced absenteeism at work, lower employer medical costs and higher employee productivity.
Unlike previously introduced versions of the policy, the Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act would not amend Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and will not make changes to the state constitution.