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In Forest Park, GA it was illegal to breastfeed a child over the age of two in public. According to WMAQ-TV, an Atlanta NBC affiliate, in May 2011, the Forest Park city council “passed a public indecency ordinance designed to protect citizens from lewd acts in public places. The ordinance included one sentence that exempts women who are breastfeeding infants 'under the age of two'. " It is also illegal in DeKalb County and Duluth, GA as well as a myriad of cities and municipalities throughout the country.
When the Forest Park ordinance was passed, outrage was heavy and the reaction was swift from the local community. Mothers held a “nurse-in” on May 21, 2011 on the grounds of the Forest Park City Hall to demonstrate their anger. Dawn Covin, a certified Lactation Educator and political blogger was at the nurse-in. In an interview for this article, she said, “I attended the nurse-in in Forest Park because I have nursed a child over two and it literally brought tears to my eyes to think that a city would actually make it illegal. It is obvious that Forest Park is not familiar with the World Health Organizations recommendation of breastfeeding for two years or beyond. To put breastfeeding in public in the same category as public nudity is totally absurd.”
It seems the US government agrees with her. On August 6, 2011, the US Breastfeeding Committee declared the month of August to be National Breastfeeding Month. In the declaration, the committee proclaimed their reason for the designation is “to improve the Nation’s health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.” They list several reasons why a national breastfeeding month is important including the following:
1. Breastfeeding is the norm for babies and young children