Breastfeeding in Public
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission policy, no one should stop a mother from breastfeeding her child, ask her to cover up or move her to another place. It is your right to breastfeed your baby in public.
If someone asks you to stop breastfeeding in public:
- Do what you need to do so that you can breastfeed your child comfortably.
- Talk to the owner, manager, or the individual who asked you to stop breastfeeding. Tell the person:
- It is your right to breastfeed in public.
- You will make a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario if you are asked again to leave, move or cover up.
- Follow up with a letter to the owner or manager. Explain what happened and inform the person that it is your right to breastfeed in public.
- Follow up with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or call 1-866-598-0322.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) wants to help women feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public places. Here are some tips:
- Wear comfortable clothes, a loose fitting top, or a nursing top
- Use a blanket if you want to cover up
- Just do it!
To encourage everyone to be more supportive of breastfeeding women, TPH launched a breastfeeding in public campaign that uses life sized cut out photos of breastfeeding women placed in busy public areas across Toronto. The campaign includes a fun video and testimonials from breastfeeding women.
Video: It’s OK to Breastfeed in Public
Her Voice. Her Story
A video series created by Toronto Public Health, showcasing women sharing their experience about breastfeeding and why your support is important to them.
Why do you breastfeed your child?
It just came naturally… I just never thought about any other option. When doctors, nurses, family, friends, etc. encouraged me to stop, I just didn’t listen. The only person I listen to is my child, and she is very clear when she expresses her feeling or needs.
Why does your child enjoy breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is part of our lives. It is who we are, our connection moment. It is a time… when she talks with her eyes and gestures. She says her mama milk is the best thing in the world.
Why is breastfeeding in public important to you?
I never saw people breastfeeding as I grew up; no one in my family would show themselves breastfeeding in public even though they did in private, no one in the streets, no one in parks or anywhere. I’d like to see experienced moms sharing their valuable knowledge freely everywhere, talking to young women about the importance of breastfeeding, passing tools to one generation to another. I’d like to see the real world outside, not hidden inside houses, rooms, and washrooms.