PORCUPINE HEALTH UNIT
You can expect to see four local mothers breastfeeding around the clock this July.
The Porcupine Health Unit launched their “Breastfeeding in Public” campaign yesterday at the Urban Park. Life-size cutouts of these mothers will now be visible at key locations in all Porcupine Health Unit communities to promote women’s rights to breastfeed in public.
“We’ll be placing the ‘mothers’ in areas such as restaurants, government buildings and businesses,” states Meagan Potvin, a Public Health Nurse with the Growing Healthy Families Program at the health unit.
She explains that while breastfeeding in public is every woman’s right, the campaign will help to take home the message that all mothers should feel supported when breastfeeding their children.
The benefits of breastfeeding are recognized by organizations such as the Canadian Pediatric Society and the World Health Organization.
Women are legally protected when breastfeeding, according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The Commission details women’s right to breastfeed in public without being discriminated against or asked to “cover up”.
“These life-size cutouts make breastfeeding very real because they are photos of mothers who live here in the community,” says Potvin.
“They’ll be featured in communities across the north and we’re hoping that they’ll be real conversation starters.” Potvin adds that the goal is that breastfeeding in public will one day be accepted by all, and not noticed at all.
Potvin notes that although you may not be able to speak to the women in the photos, you can show your support and follow the event by visiting their facebook page, called PHU EATS, and by using the hashtag #BreastfeedingInPublic.
The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in the Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.