Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Pregnancy and Before

Attitude Towards Breastfeeding in Public Places

Beliefs about Breastfeeding

Attitudes about Public Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended by Health Canada as the only feeding method for newborns until six months of age. A mother’s decision to breastfeed her baby (exclusively or otherwise) is influenced by her partner, family members and the public’s beliefs and attitudes about breastfeeding.

For more information about breastfeeding or how you can support a new mother in your family or community, please visit the Breastfeeding section of the health unit’s website.

Beliefs about Breastfeeding

According to the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), in 2014, 59.9% (56.2%, 63.6%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults (18+) agreed that a baby fed only breast milk for first six months of life gets all the food they need to grow. While more individuals agreed with this statement in 2014 than in 2006, the change was not statistically significant (53.6% (50.5%, 56.7%)).

Additionally, 82.9% (80.0%, 85.8%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults agreed that breast milk helps prevent illness in babies, a response that has been fairly consistent since 2006. Similarly breastfeeding was felt to be good for the mother by 81.0% (78.1%, 84.0%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults in 2014.

Interestingly, the awareness of breastfeeding campaigns has significantly decreased since 2006, with only 22.8% (19.7%, 25.9%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults stating that they were aware of a breastfeeding campaign in 2014, compared with 33.0% (30.1%, 36.0%) of adults in 2006.

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Attitudes about Public Breastfeeding

According to the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), in 2014, 74% of Simcoe Muskoka adults (18+) agreed that it was acceptable for a mother to breastfeed in a restaurant (74.4% (71.1%, 77.7%)) and in a shopping mall (73.8% (70.4%, 77.1%)). This is a slight increase from 2007/08, where 72.2% (69.3%, 75.1%) of adults agreed that it is acceptable for a mother to breastfeed in a restaurant, and 70.7% (67.8%, 73.6%) felt that is was acceptable for a mother to breastfeed in a shopping mall.

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