161 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905
Choosing the way you will
feed your new baby is one of the important decisions you will make
in preparing for your infant's arrival. Doctors agree that for most
women breastfeeding is the safest and most healthy choice. It is
your right to be informed about the benefits of breastfeeding and
have your health care provider and maternal health care facility
encourage and support breastfeeding. You have the right to make
your own choice about breastfeeding. Whether you choose to
breastfeed or not you have the following basic rights regardless of
your race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender
identity or expression, or source of payment for your health care.
Maternal health care facilities have a responsibility to ensure
that you understand these rights.
They must provide this information clearly for you and must
provide an interpreter if necessary. These rights may only be
limited in cases where your health or the health of your baby
requires it. If any of the following things are not medically right
for you or your baby, you should be fully informed of the facts and
1. Before You Deliver:
If you attend prenatal childbirth education classes provided by
the maternal health care facility and all hospital clinics and
diagnostic and treatment centers providing prenatal services in
accordance with article 28 of the public health law you must
receive the Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights. Each maternal
health care facility shall provide the maternity information
leaflet, including the Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights, in
accordance with section twenty-eight hundred three-i of this
chapter to each patient or to the appointed personal representative
at the time of prebooking or time of admission to a maternal health
care facility. Each maternal health care provider shall give a copy
of the Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights to each patient at or
prior to the medically appropriate time.
You have the right to complete information about the benefits of
breastfeeding for yourself and your baby. This will help you make
an informed choice on how to feed your baby.
You have the right to receive information that is free of
commercial interests and includes:
- How breastfeeding benefits you and your baby nutritionally,
medically and emotionally;
- How to prepare yourself for breastfeeding;
- How to understand some of the problems you may face and how to
2. In The Maternal Health Care Facility:
- You have the right to have your baby stay with you right after
birth whether you deliver vaginally or by cesarean section. You
have the right to begin breastfeeding within one hour after
- You have the right to have someone trained to help you in
breastfeeding give you information and help you when you need
- You have the right to have your baby not receive any bottle
feeding or pacifiers.
- You have the right to know about and refuse any drugs that may
dry up your milk.
- You have the right to have your baby in your room with you 24
hours a day.
- You have the right to breastfeed your baby at any time day or
- You have the right to know if your doctor or your baby's
pediatrician is advising against breastfeeding before any feeding
decisions are made.
- You have the right to have a sign on your baby's crib clearly
stating that your baby is breastfeeding and that no bottle feeding
of any type is to be offered.
- You have the right to receive full information about how you
are doing with breastfeeding and get help on how to improve.
- You have the right to breastfeed your baby in the neonatal
intensive care unit. If nursing is not possible, every attempt will
be made to have your baby receive your pumped or expressed
- If you, or your baby, are re-hospitalized in a maternal care
facility after the initial delivery stay, the hospital will make
every effort to continue to support breastfeeding, to provide
hospital grade electric pumps and rooming in facilities.
- You have the right to have help from someone specially trained
in breastfeeding support and expressing breast milk if your baby
has special needs.
- You have the right to have a family member or friend receive
breast feeding information from a staff member if you request
3. When You Leave The Maternal Health Care
- You have the right to printed breastfeeding information free of
- You have the right, unless specifically requested by you, and
available at the facility, to be discharged from the facility
without discharge packs containing infant formula, or formula
coupons unless ordered by your baby's health care provider.
- You have the right to get information about breastfeeding
resources in your community including information on availability
of breastfeeding consultants, support groups and breast pumps.
- You have the right to have the facility give you information to
help choose a medical provider for your baby and understand the
importance of a follow-up appointment.
- You have the right to receive information about safely
collecting and storing your breast milk.
- You have the right to breastfeed your baby in any location,
public or private, where you are otherwise authorized to be.
Complaints can be directed to the New York State Division of Human
All the above are your rights. If the maternal health care
facility does not honor these rights you can seek help by
contacting the New York State Department of Health or by contacting
the hospital complaint hotline at 1-800-804-5447
or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.