It’s a conundrum a lot of mothers face – they’re out of the home, with their new baby, and the baby is hungry. Where can they go to breast feed?

Saskatoon Health Region’s Population and Public Health, and Saskatoon Breastfeeding Matters, have teamed up to develop a Passport to Breastfeeding program that helps new mothers choosing to breastfeed find those comfortable places to feed their baby. The program was launched at an event at Station 20 West in Saskatoon on May 7.RR-2015-05-13-breastfeeding-promotion-1

“Sometimes new moms can feel a little nervous or apprehensive when it comes to breastfeeding in public places,” explains Dr. Johnmark Opondo, Deputy Medical Health Officer.  “What this passport provides is a list of safe, comfortable environments where mothers know they can breastfeed without fear of disturbance or confrontation.”

The passport is part of a new Breastfeeding Protection Pledge the groups developed to build the confidence of new mothers who are choosing to breastfeed. Businesses and organizations listed in the passport have all signed a pledge guaranteeing that mothers are welcome to breastfeed their children in their establishment, acknowledging the importance of creating a welcoming environment for breastfeeding families. The pledge also states that they have trained their staff in the event of complaints from members of the public.RR-2015-05-13-breastfeeding-promotion-2

Many businesses and organizations have chosen to become champions for breastfeeding mothers by getting on board with the program. Restaurants (10 in total), leisure centres, libraries, Station 20 West, Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre, and the Saskatoon Friendship Inn are all involved.   The passports are being distributed to moms by Public Health Nurses at their two- and four-month baby checkups.

The participating businesses are identified in the passport being handed out to parents, by a sticker on their windows, and on the Saskatoon Breastfeeding Matters website at http://www.saskatoonbreastfeedingmatters.ca.

“This program is new, revolutionary, and completely unique to Saskatoon,” says Dr. Opondo. “We believe this program is an excellent opportunity for leaders in the business community to show their support for new families.”