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BACE Actions

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The Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton was started after a mother was asked to leave a local pool because she was breastfeeding. These "incidents" continue, but BACE's "pool report" has been used successfully at the local level and around the world when mothers have been discriminated against because of breastfeeding.

BACE's Report on Breastfeeding At Municipal Pools in Canada

Breastfeeding at Municipal Pools in Canada: APPENDICES

  Edmonton Capital Region Breastfeeding Friendly Policy for Businesses & Public Places

√ This business/public facility recognizes breastfeeding is part of a normal, healthy diet for young children and the acknowledges the role the community plays in valuing and validating public breastfeeding.

√ We understand the right of children to be breastfed anywhere, anytime is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, and that the Alberta Human Rights Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of gender. This includes protection from discrimination because of breastfeeding. Our federal government has encouraged and supports women and children to breastfeed in public for over 25 years. In 2009 Public Health Agency of Canada told mothers: "You and your baby have the right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere."

√ We understand it is inappropriate and discriminatory to ask a mother breastfeeding her child to stop nursing, to ʻcover-up,' to relocate to a private room, to move to a bathroom, or to leave the premises.

√ We support a motherʼs choice to breastfeed wherever they happen to be when the child is hungry, or to move to a more private location, such as a changing room, alcove or booth, if available.

√ We acknowledge that the employer has an obligation to orientate employees to the Breastfeeding Friendly Policy.

√ We believe there is value in advertising that this business/facility is Breastfeeding Friendly therefore the International Breastfeeding Symbol will be displayed at the entrance.


All staff will support the above by taking the following actions:

1. Read the information pamphlet that supports this policy.

2. Display a welcoming attitude to breastfeeding mothers.

3. Do not ask a breastfeeding mother to cover up or relocate.

4. If a mother requests a more private location to breastfeed, offer any available space that is appropriate, comfortable and in a quiet location (e.g. a chair in a quiet corner of the business/facility, change room. Bathrooms are often not appropriate.)

5. If you receive a complaint from another patron, gently explain Alberta and federal laws ensure children have a right to breastfeed anywhere. If appropriate, offer to move the concerned patron to a more comfortable location.

For more information, please contact (Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) at http://www.facebook.com/BACEpage or @BACETweetsSign the pledge to be breastfeeding friendly!http://bit.ly/BACEpledge 

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BACE goal: The Edmonton Capital Region will be the most Breastfeeding Friendly city in Canada

Sponsored by BACE: Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton

Supported by: Alberta Breastfeeding Committee

This document is modeled after materials created for the Okanagan Building a Breastfeeding Friendly Community Initiative, sponsored by the Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition Partners: Interior Health Authority, La Leche League, Okanagan College, Birth ‘n Babes www.okanaganbreastfeeding.org

Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) receives human rights grant

BACE receives human rights grant to help prevent breastfeeding discrimination
Program needed to combat harassment and discrimination of breastfeeding mothers and children

Edmonton, Friday, October 3 -- The Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) is thrilled to announce we are recipients of a 2014-2015 Human Rights and Multiculturalism Grant from the Alberta Human Rights Commission. 

BACE will be using this grant to launch a Breastfeeding Friendly Initiative.

We will work with stakeholders to create breastfeeding friendly policy, signage and training for implementation in local businesses, community organizations and public institutions. We will support our Breastfeeding Friendly Partners as they implement this program and also will develop and launch a breastfeeding friendly public education campaign. Our goal is to decrease the number of incidents of harassment of breastfeeding parents, to increase public awareness about breastfeeding rights, and to support local organizations in becoming breastfeeding friendly.

In 2013 the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) called on Edmonton to do more to support breastfeeding after a University of Alberta study found that while over 90 per cent of Alberta women start out breastfeeding, many don’t continue to exclusively breastfeed their babies to the six-month mark as recommended by health authorities. Researchers identified a lack of support for breastfeeding in public as one factor leading to early weaning. Health Canada recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and then sustained breastfeeding for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding.

BACE has documented more than a dozen incidents involving harassment of breastfeeding in public in Alberta in the last two years including at Edmonton-area hospitals, swimming pools, and even the public library.

BACE will be celebrating funding to address this problem at the Breastfeeding Challenge at West Edmonton Mall at 11 a.m., October 4th. The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge takes place across Canada as part of National Breastfeeding Week celebrations.



Jodine Chase, 780-938-5208




Breastfeeding Challenge, 10:30 a.m., Saturday, October 4th

West Edmonton Mall Northeast corner ground floor (near the Sears mall entrance, parking off 90 Avenue and 170 St.)

Incidents involving harassment for breastfeeding in public in Alberta, 2010-2014

Newsrelease: Edmonton needs to do more to support breastfeeding moms: BACE


News Release

May 16, 2013

Walmart Canada takes first steps towards becoming Breastfeeding Friendly

Moms celebrate at Spruce Grove Walmart 

Breastfeeding moms and their supporters will gather at noon today at the Spruce Grove Walmart to celebrate Walmart Canada’s efforts to become Breastfeeding Friendly.

When Kayla Anders’ husband took a photograph of Kayla breastfeeding their child to Walmart to have a surprise gift made up for Mother’s Day, he wasn’t expecting Walmart to reject the photo. But they did. The resulting news coverage and a letter from the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) to Walmart Canada has prompted Walmart Canada to take action. 

Walmart Canada says it made a mistake, and has circulated a new policy to all of its photo labs clarifying its policy.

The Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) says Walmart Canada is doing the right thing. 

“They know moms are their number one customer, and want moms to feel comfortable breastfeeding in their stores. Amending their policies is an important first step,” said Kirsten Goa, BACE president.

Goa says Walmart Canada could take the next step and take a Breastfeeding Friendly pledge, which would involve training its employees and placing the International Breastfeeding Symbol on its doors so families will know Walmart stores are a safe place to breastfeed without harassment. 

“We know other breastfeeding moms have faced discrimination in Walmart stores in Alberta and across the country and I think we all want this to never happen again,” says Goa.

Alberta is in the middle of a baby boom with 50,000 babies born each year and women routinely follow the advice of health authorities and breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, and through to the end of the second year, and beyond. 

Goa says, “there are thousands and thousands of moms breastfeeding as they go about their daily lives, in Walmart , at the park, at the library – wherever mothers and their children are otherwise likely to be. We want to see breastfeeding mothers supported to breastfeed in public, and to be able to take and share photographs of breastfeeding without being harassed or shamed.”

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News Release, January 17, 2013

Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) reminder:

Hepatitis C is not transmitted via breastmilk

News outlets today in Edmonton are reporting a $3M lawsuit has been filed by a family against a hospital and its staff. The suit alleges a baby accidentally received the breastmilk of another mother while at an Edmonton hospital. The reports say that mother later tested positive for Hepatitis C, and the family suffered anguish because of concern that their baby may have become infected with Hepatitis C.

News outlets are reporting the allegations have not been proven in court.

The Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) would like to reassure mothers that medical experts including the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) know that Hepatitis C is not transmitted through breastmilk. In general disease transmission via breastmilk is very rare.

Specifically, the CDC says: “HCV is transmitted by infected blood, not by human breast milk.”  

PHAC says: “Currently, there is no evidence that breast milk is a means of transmitting the disease…

Mothers who are breastfeeding their own babies and who are Hepatitis C positive are advised by the CDC and PHAC to continue to breastfeeding. The CDC and PHAC offer advice about temporary precautions mothers may wish to take if they have a nipple injury, while clearly stating there has never been a case of Hepatitis C transmitted by breastfeeding, and that studies show it is highly unlikely.



BACE feels it is unfortunate that any family would be made to feel anxious about HepC transmission via breastmilk. We hope that by providing this information we can reassure concerned families and help increase understanding that the risk of illness or disease from breastmilk is very low  - less risky than other alternatives such as infant formula.

Kirsten Goa