Toronto is well-equipped to support public breastfeeding, an activity supported by Pope Francis who spoke out in approval n the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, as many public services are available across the city, experts say.
“We all have the responsibility to ensure that mothers get the support services they ned to attain their infant-feeding goals,” says Janet Zablocki, a lactation consultant from the Toronto East General Hospital breastfeeding clinic who provides mothers with prenatal and postnatal care.
There are currently 15 breastfeeding clinics in Toronto, including two in East York. These clinics provide help to mothers who have difficulty breastfeeding and also provide a safe and comfortable space for women breastfeed.
“We provide them with information on how to get off to the best suitable start to feeding their children,” Zablocki says. “We help women overcome difficulties they may encounter and help them make informed decisions.
According to Zablocki, 94 per cent of women who give birth at the Toronto East General Hospital want to breastfeed their children.
“I think the more support the better, and that public health agencies have done an excellent job in informing the public,” Zablocki said.
Breastfeeding in public in Toronto is a right protected by Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Public spaces that are free from discrimination include restaurants, stores and malls, parks and even public transit.
Two breastfeedling clinics in and near East York are the Toronto East General Hospital Breastfeeding Resource Centre (call 416-469-6667) and the Victoria Park Breastfeeding Clinic (call 647-344-5990).