All New York maternal health care facilities must provide the Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights to each patient or to the appointed personal representative at the time of prebooking or time of admission to a maternal health care facility.
Under Article 28 of the Public Health Law, new mothers have the right to receive complete information about the benefits of breastfeeding for themselves and their baby. The information must be provided clearly, and if necessary, an interpreter must be provided. Mothers also have the right to decide if they want to breastfeed or not.
The Mothers’ Bill of Rights informs pregnant women and mothers of their rights, including:
- The right to information that is free of commercial interests;
- The right to have her baby stay with her immediately after delivery to facilitate breastfeeding;
- The right to ask that no bottles of formula or water be given to her baby; and
- The right to refuse any gifts or take home packets containing formula.
The New York Department of Health requires all hospitals and birthing centers providing maternity care services in the state of New York to post the Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights poster.