June 3, 2013
Public attitudes support breastfeeding… but not always in public
Alberta’s birth rate is now over 50,000 per year. Health Canada says “breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and sustained for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding – is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada tells breastfeeding women they have the right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere in Canada, in a brochure that is widely distributed by health care professionals.
Although about 90 per cent of Alberta women begin breastfeeding, only one third, or fewer in some areas of the province, are exclusively breastfeeding at the six-mark month. A recent survey of moms in North America and Europe found as many as two thirds said their number one concern about breastfeeding was about breastfeeding in public. There is good reason for this – a recent Canadian study of the attitudes of young adults to breastfeeding found two thirds expressed negative or unsupportive views about breastfeeding in public.
This disconnect results in the harassment of women and children who breastfeed in public. There have been over a dozen incidents documented in Alberta in recent months.
In order to encourage women who breastfeed in public, and to increase understanding that women and children in Alberta have the right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere they otherwise have the right to be, the Alberta Breastfeeding Committee has produced two business-sized cards.
One thanks women for breastfeeding in public, and the other outlines specific human rights rights information confirming their right to breastfeed in public.
These cards can be downloaded and printed for free. The work best as a double-sided card, with the thank you message on one side and the rights message on the other.
When you see a mother feeding her baby please do give her a card. Make her day!
The ABC strives to promote and protect breastfeeding at all times.
Thank you … for making a difference