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Edmonton mother directed not to breastfeed in public, receives apology

Breastfeeding in public is a legal right of all mothers in Alberta.
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On February 2, 2014, an Edmonton mother sat down near the financial kiosk in order to feed her 5-month old daughter at a local Superstore in Clareview. After a woman questioned her on what she was doing, she responded with her intentions on nursing her baby and was then directed to a change room nearby rather than where she was sitting, which was across from the checkouts.

Since that day Loblaws Companies Ltd has issued a formal apology to Jenna Kostiuk and has followed through with steps on educating their staff members on a mother's legal right to breastfeed in public in the province of Alberta.

“We are aware and will continue to comply with the provincial policies on breastfeeding,” Elaine Quan, Loblaws senior manager of public relations, said in a written statement. “We have addressed the way the situation was handled at the store level and will work to re-educate the representatives staffing PC Financial pavilions about our company policies and the Human Rights Commission’s policies related to breastfeeding.”

While this may come as a shock to some, it is a regular occurrence for many mothers in and around Alberta. Knowing your rights and educating others is an important step in ensuring that other mothers do not face the same discrimination while out in public.

Calgary mothers can find breastfeeding support at numerous places throughout the city. The Calgary Breastfeeding Matters Group, Calgary Breastfeeding Help, ABC Breastfeeding Support, along with other breastfeeding clinics and the La Leche League in Calgary.

Breastfeeding is a natural occurrence that requires support and help for many mothers in Calgary. Be sure to check out some or all of the resources listed if you have any questions or concerns for yourself or someone you know about breastfeeding.