Can I breastfeed in public?

Toddler breastfeeding on subway

Yes, you can!  Your right to breastfeed in a public place is supported by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  No one should stop a mother from breastfeeding her child, or ask her to cover up or move her to another place to breastfeed.

Tips for breastfeeding in public

  • Get comfortable with breastfeeding your baby at home with your family and friends before you breastfeed in public.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, a loose fitting top, or a breastfeeding top.
  • Use a blanket or scarf if you want to cover up.
  • Choose a quiet public place to breastfeed.
  • Just do it!

What can I do if someone asks me 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 person who asked you to stop breastfeeding and explain:
    • 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 of your right to breastfeed in public.  Follow up with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

How do I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario by filling out an application. You may also talk to the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for advice or assistance.  You can call the centre at 1-866-625-5179 to speak with a Human Rights Advisor.

What if eating a sandwich in public got the same reaction as breastfeeding in public?


At any time, if you’re having difficulty breastfeeding, contact your health care provider or visit a breastfeeding clinic.

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