North Carolina

Public Breastfeeding Law

§ 14‑190.9. Indecent exposure.
(a) Unless the conduct is punishable under subsection (a1) of this section, any person who shall willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in any public place and in the presence of any other person or persons, except for those places designated for a public purpose where the same sex exposure is incidental to a permitted activity, or aids or abets in any such act, or who procures another to perform such act; or any person, who as owner, manager, lessee, director, promoter or agent, or in any other capacity knowingly hires, leases or permits the land, building, or premises of which he is owner, lessee or tenant, or over which he has control, to be used for purposes of any such act, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(a)(1) Unless the conduct is prohibited by another law providing greater punishment, any person at least 18 years of age who shall willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in any public place in the presence of any other person less than 16 years of age for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire shall be guilty of a Class H felony. An offense committed under this subsection shall not be considered to be a lesser included offense under G.S. 14‑202.1.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast feed in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local government may regulate the location and operation of sexually oriented businesses. Such local regulation may restrict or prohibit nude, seminude, or topless dancing to the extent consistent with the constitutional protection afforded free speech. (1971, c. 591, s. 1; 1993, c. 301, s. 1; c. 539, s. 124; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1998‑46, s. 3; 2005‑226, s. 1.)

Enforcement Provision


Workplace Pumping Law


Enforcement Provision


11 Responses to “North Carolina”

  1. Eve says:

    Can anyone ask you to leave while breastfeeding? Like in a public place such as the mall, stores, supermarkets?

    • admin says:

      If no law protects you, only the owner of the pubic accommodation has the authority to ask you to leave. Please read the articles on this site for an explanation of the difference between public, private and public accommodation.

  2. Nicole says:

    Does this mean that if I were nursing my baby at a store, they can ask me to leave or file charges against me?

  3. Ashley says:

    Hey. There IS a federal law that says “a woman has a right to breastfeed anywhere she has a right to be.” So unless it is a private business, (Sam’s Diner, example) they can’t ask you to leave or cover up. It is your right to feed your child.

    • admin says:

      No I’m afraid there isn’t. There is a federal law “protecting” public breastfeeding IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS but it has no enforcement provision. And the vast majority of public breastfeeding laws are talking precisely about Sam’s Diner which is a public accommodation. In the law of property, “private business” can not refer to any place open to the public.

    • admin says:

      And, no, in the US you have no right to feed your child.

  4. britt says:

    Is there any info on pumping in the workplace?

    • admin says:

      What you see here on this page is what exists in North Carolina. For more information, please read the article “Pumping 9-5″ on this website.

  5. Alex says:

    So I can be detained for feeding my child and refusing to cover up or leave an establishment in the state of North Carolina? Am I getting this right?

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