Can I breastfeed in public?

You have the right to breastfeed your child in a public area such as a waiting room, mall, or grocery store.

No one should stop you from breastfeeding just because you are in a public area. They should not make offensive comments, ask you to cover up, ask you to move to a more private area, or have rules that ban or limit breastfeeding.

It is not if these comments are made by members of the public. But it might be discrimination if these comments are made by:

  • your employer
  • a landlord
  • your or professional organization
  • a housing provider
  • a provider like a store employee, restaurant, or school

If you need to breastfeed or pump milk for your child, you can ask for from your employer, landlord, union representative, or a service provider.

If you are at work, your employer should accommodate any needs you have for breastfeeding or pumping milk. Service providers like schools might have similar obligations. The way that a service provider must accommodate you depends on the type of service they provide and what support you need in that environment.

A service provider or employer might:

  • provide a private space for breastfeeding
  • teach staff that a person has the right to breastfeed anywhere
  • allow breaks or flexible schedules so staff can have time to breastfeed or pump milk
  • have a fridge to store breast milk
  • allow a caregiver to bring the baby into the workplace or classroom to be breastfed
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