Sudbury

Life-sized cutouts of North Bay moms breastfeeding used in health unit campaign

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is hoping its new initiative will help moms feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. The health unit launched its Normalize It campaign Thursday. Four different life-sized cutouts will be set up in public spaces around North Bay and Parry Sound.

Cutouts to be displayed in public spaces throughout October in North Bay, Parry Sound

These four local women and their babies were used as models by the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit for its new Normalize It campaign. Life-sized cutouts of the women will be displayed in public spaces throughout the community. (North Bay Health Unit -- Facebook)

Four moms from the North Bay area will be seeing themselves in life-size cutouts at local malls and other public spaces.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit launched its Normalize It campaign on Thursday, which uses life-size cutouts of real local moms breastfeeding their babies.

The campaign is meant to help others feel comfortable about breastfeeding in public says public health nurse Heather Lawson.

Lawson says they got the idea from the Porcupine Health Unit in Timmins which ran a similar campaign in 2017.

When the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit first posted on Facebook that it was looking for models to take part in the initiative, Lawson says they were overwhelmed with messages from moms who wanted to be involved.

"We actually had to take down our post after 20 minutes because we had so much interest."

 Lawson says the health unit was especially pleased that the model moms had older babies.

"Women who are more confident to breastfeed in public usually have a longer duration of breastfeeding," she said.

"I think the moms that were volunteering, for the most part are really excited about it, and they are happy...they don't feel judged, I suppose."

The message, Lawson says, is that it is a human right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime.

"I really hope we don't get too many negative comments. It takes a lot of courage to have your photo out on a life sized cut-out."

The campaign will run between October 1-15 in the North Bay and Parry Sound areas.

With files from Angela Gemmill