Most in Canada and U.S. Friendly to Breastfeeding in Public

Agreement is lowest among Canadians who voted for the Conservatives and Americans who identify as Republican.

Vancouver, BC [March 20, 2020] – Sizeable majorities of Canadians and Americans have no problem with women breastfeeding in specific public spaces, a new two-country Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, 82% of Canadians and 74% of Americans think women should have the right to breastfeed a baby in a park.

Most residents of the two countries believe women should be allowed to breastfeed a baby in a shopping mall (78% in Canada and 71% in the United States), in a restaurant (74% in Canada and 65% in the United States) and in a public transit vehicle (71% in Canada and 68% in the United States).

Conversely, more than one-in-five Canadians are not sympathetic to breastfeeding in public transit vehicles (23%) and at restaurants (21%), while fewer believe the practice should be allowed in shopping malls (16%) and parks (12%).

In the United States, at least one-in-five Americans voice opposition to breastfeeding in each of the four locations: restaurants (28%), public transit vehicles (27%), shopping malls (23%) and parks (20%).

“While most Canadians and Americans preserve the right of women to breastfeed in public, there are some nuances when it comes to opposition,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Some Americans are more likely to resist the practice inside a restaurant, while some Canadians are more hesitant about it happening inside a public transit vehicle.”

Among Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in last year’s federal election, the level of opposition climbs to 31% for breastfeeding in a public transit vehicle.

In the United States, at least a third of those who identify as Republicans are against breastfeeding inside a public transit vehicle (33%) and a restaurant (36%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from February 7 to February 9, 2020, among 1,000 Canadian adults, and an online study conducted from February 6 to February 8, 2020, among 1,000 American adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian and U.S. census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points for each study, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full Canadian dataset here, our full American dataset here and download the press release here.

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.