A group of businesses in Montreal, Quebec are coming together to make their support of nursing moms known. The new Route du Lait (which translates to The Milk Way) is a network of businesses in Montreal that have agreed to provide a safe environment for nursing moms, guaranteed to be free of judgment and harassment.
To businesses wishing to participate in this project, we propose providing mothers with a space where they can sit down and breastfeed. This area does not require a great deal of construction: a comfortable chair in a calm place, ideally far from the bathroom. Women can stop and breastfeed without being required to buy anything
Geneviève Coulombe, who has spent three years as project manager of the Route du Lait explained the benefits of the project to CBC news
If a mother goes in a store with the sticker in the window, they know the owner has been briefed, the employees know about breastfeeding and are OK with it. If they have older babies or fussy babies, they know they’ll be accepted with no judgment.
Local coffee shops, pharmacies, bookstores and toy stores in five neighbourhoods (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, downtown, the Plateau Mont-Royal, Verdun and on the West Island) can be found on this interactive map.
All businesses involved also sport this sticker in their windows to let the public know they are members of the Route du Lait.
Coulombe has spent much of the past three years educating participating businesses and staff on the right to breastfeed and making sure employees understand what that means, that there are no caveats to it. A woman has the right to nurse anytime, anywhere, any way she wishes.
Behind this incredible idea is Federation Nourri-Source, a group of almost 750 volunteer support mothers dedicated to breastfeeding and supporting other moms. It would be great to see this spread to other cities in hopes that one day soon this won’t be necessary at all.