You have the right to breastfeed in any place (public or private) where you and your baby are otherwise allowed to be.
The Illinois Right to Breastfeed Act states that a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.
- You are not required to cover up while breastfeeding. However, in a place of worship, a breastfeeding parent must behave appropriately according to the norms of the place of worship.
- If you are denied the right to breastfeed by the owner or manager of a public or private place, you can bring a lawsuit (except in cases where the denial occurred in a private residence or a place of worship).
Federal laws and regulations protect a parent’s right to breastfeed her child on any federal property where the parent and child are otherwise authorized to be.
You have the right not to be denied access to a place of public accommodation (such as a store, restaurant, park, or library) because you are breastfeeding or because you asked for accommodations to breastfeed or pump breast milk.
The Illinois Human Rights Act protects any person from being denied the full and equal enjoyment of facilities, goods and services at any place of public accommodation just because she is breastfeeding or needs to pump breast milk. Places of public accommodation include a wide range of locations open to the public, such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, stores, professional offices, public transportation, museums, libraries, parks, day cares, gyms, and homeless shelters.
The Illinois Lactation Accommodation in Airports Act requires large airports in Illinois to provide a lactation room for members of the public to express breast milk in private. The lactation room cannot be a restroom and must include a chair and electrical outlet.