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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