Public Breastfeeding Law

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Freedom to Breastfeed Act.
Section 2. Declaration of policy.
The General Assembly finds that breastfeeding a baby is an important and basic act of nurturing that must be protected in the interests of maternal and child health and family values.
Section 3. General rule.
A mother shall be permitted to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Enforcement Provision


Workplace Pumping Law


Enforcement Provision


20 Responses to “Pennsylvania”

  1. Nikki Lee says:

    Philadelphia has a fabulous law supporting breastfeeding outside the home. This law is a model of excellent practice: Philadelphia Fair Practices Code, section 9-1105.

    (a) It shall be an unlawful public accommodations practice:

    (1) For any person being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement to:

    (2) Prohibit a breastfeeding mother from or segregate a breastfeeding mother within any public accommodation where she and her baby would otherwise be authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to breastfeeding.

    A mother may file a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. The Commission will assign an investigator, whose goal is to train and educate and who has the authority to levy a fine if the facility investigated is not willing to comply with the law. The Commission gets at least one case a year.

    • admin says:

      The Philadelphia ordinance is great but sadly I have found it not so user friendly. I have tried to talk with the office director about it but he doesn’t return my calls. I fear the ordinance may be underutilized.

  2. S says:

    I’m returning back to work in a few days and am worried about being able to pump at work. My employer seems less than willing to allow me time to pump. I know that PA has no state law about workplace pumping but I’m wondering if federal law would require my employer to allow me the break time to pump? If federal law doesn’t require that, what am I supposed to do? My child needs to eat.

    • admin says:

      Negotiate. Talk to a lactation consultant about maintaining your supply around your work schedule. As rough as it is, many women continue to breastfeed even though they are not allowed to pump at work. Sadly, the law currently does not help you.

  3. Cheryl Marian, IBCLC, RLC says:

    Doesn’t federal law/affordable care act now cover this? It is up to her employer to show an extreme hardship if they employ fewer than 50 employees. But you are right, negotiations will show goodwill with the employer.

  4. admin says:

    Check out the Federal Law page on this site. There is no enforcement mechanism for the federal law unless a woman is fired in which case she may be awarded lost wages. The federal law can not force an employer to accommodate a pumping employee.

  5. P says:

    While I understand that I am in the minority, I am female and I find public breastfeeding offensive. I recognize the convenience to feed on the spot, but not everyone shares the feeders perspective. I feel a true lady feeds in private. However with the law as it is, there is nothing that can be done.

  6. Brandy says:

    Me either….

  7. carissa says:

    Why do people feel that breast feeding should be done in private? Would these same people make a bottle fed baby be fed in private, or under a cover that they can’t breathe properly? I just think it’s something that shouldn’t be sexualized , it’s just nourishing your child.

  8. Marsha says:

    Is there any provision in the state of PA for a woman in a state correctional prison that allows her to pump her breast milk for her newborn child who is taken away from her 24 hours after birth and given to an appointed person such as the grandmother?

  9. MB says:

    Doesn’t a mother have protection under the Affordable Care Act?

    • admin says:

      No, not unless she is fired and only then for lost wages. Please refer to the federal law page on this site for further explanation.

  10. Rachael says:

    Thank god my state isn’t going to lock me up for “public indecency” like some states do.
    Breasts were sexualized by western society.
    Theybare literally just a food source for my child.
    Thank you PA, for not being horrible.

    • admin says:

      Well, no state is going to lock you up for public indecency for public breastfeeding. At least no US state has ever had a public indecency arrest concerning breastfeeding in public. None. Ever.

      As for Pennsylvania, it is horrible. As someone who helped draft it and then watched it be tripped of all power, I can say it is a terrible law which helps no one.

  11. Ellie says:


    I am a college student writing a memo about breastfeeding law problems in Pennsylvania especially in the workplace. You commented that you helped draft it and then watched it be stripped of all power. How would you change the current law? Also, how could working mothers be more supported through policy?


  12. Heather shore says:

    In Pennsylvania I’m assuming by some above comments that it is legal for an employee to tell me to pump in bathroom ? If so what can we do to change this?

    • admin says:

      The way laws are changed is that a new one must be drafted, introduced by a house representative in the tstae house and a senator in the state senate, and ultimately make it through the legislative process to replace the current law.