Legal Magazine

São Paulo to Protect Breastfeeding Mothers

Posted on the 21 April 2015 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

São Paulo may soon pass legislation that would be the first of its kind in the world. After a series of protests and people pushing for laws to protect breastfeeding mothers, women in São Paulo are expected to soon be able to breastfeed in public without the fear of public reprimand. The regulation was already approved by the São Paulo municipal government and is expected to be signed into effect by Mayor Fernando Haddad. Even though the World Health Organization recognizes the benefits of mothers’ breastfeeding their babies, previously there was not a Brazilian law protecting a mother’s right to nurse her child in public.

According to the new law, any organization or business that prevents a woman from breastfeeding in public could face a fine of 500 reais. Although the regulation will only pertain to facilities specifically in São Paulo, this groundbreaking piece of legislation should bring to light the prejudice that nursing mothers sometimes face when they attempt to breastfeed their babies in public areas.

The legislation comes about because of a series of incidents where breastfeeding mothers were reprimanded by officials. One notable case was that of model Priscila Navarro Bueno, who last year was rebuked by a security guard when she was breastfeeding her seven-month-old daughter at the Museum of Image and Sound. At the time, Navarro Bueno said:

Unfortunately society is still very puritanical. During Carnival women can show their breasts, but it is not permitted to do so to give milk to your child. It is absurd that women have to breastfeed in a hidden room.

The Museum of Image and Sound has since apologized for the incident, and now women are welcome to breastfeed their children in public at the facility. With the new legislation, other facilities will have to establish the same welcoming attitude towards breastfeeding mothers or face fines.

This new legislation comes about in the wake of a recent Brazilian study showing a link between breastfeeding and success as adults. Overall, the study found that the longer the person was breastfed, the better the person did when it came to IQ score, educational achievement, and financial earning ability without regard for the mother’s social class. Perhaps the new legislation will remove some of the taboos associated with breastfeeding in public.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog