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Policy on breastfeeding

Policy regarding areas where breastfeeding is allowed in the Town of Hearst (Resolution No. 380-09 on October 6, 2009)

Policy Statement: The Town of Hearst allows mothers to breastfeed in public places governed by the Municipality, and supports them in this regard.

Execution: All employees of the Town of Hearst and members of the public.

Financial Impact: No financial impact derives from this policy.

General Information:

The Town of Hearst recognizes the health benefits that are provided from breastfeeding for both mother and child.

The Town of Hearst is trying to create an environment that supports women and enables them to breastfeed exclusively for six months and to continue breastfeeding with the addition of complementing foods until the age of two or more, as recommended by Health Canada and the Canadian Pediatrics Society.

By supporting mothers that breastfeed, the Town of Hearst will strengthen the development of the breastfeeding culture throughout the city.

In a publication entitled “Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Your Rights and Responsibilities”, the Ontario Human Rights Commission states that women are legally protected from discrimination and harassment because of sex, including pregnancy and breastfeeding. You have rights as a nursing mother; the right to breastfeed your child in a public area. No one should prevent you from nursing your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up”, disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet”.

Conditions: The staff of the Town of Hearst will allow mothers to breastfeed, especially in public places governed by the Town of Hearst named below, and support them in this regard:

  • Town Hall
  • Claude Larose Recreation Centre
  • Day Care Centre
  • Municipal Airport Rene Fontaine
  • Public Library
  • Tourism Information Centre Gilles Gagnon
  • Fire Hall

Implementation: The Porcupine Health Unit will offer information and resources (static cling) to support breastfeeding in public places. This policy will be placed on the Town of Hearst website, posters and static clings promoting areas where maternal breastfeeding is allowed will be displayed in the public buildings, if available.

Employees Responsibilities: Employees must show respect to mothers who breastfeed in public and upon request, provide them with a comfortable place, if available.