An Alberta mother has received an apology after she was told she couldn’t breastfeed her five-month-old daughter at an Edmonton Superstore.

Jenna Kostiuk and children

Jenna Kostiuk was about to breastfeed her daughter at an Edmonton Superstore on Feb. 2 when she says she was told to go to a change room. (Courtesy of Jenna Kostiuk)

Jenna Kostiuk says it happened on Feb. 2 when she sat down near the financial kiosk across from the checkouts at the Clareview Superstore.

“I was just about to start feeding my daughter and the young lady turned around and said, 'Do you plan on breastfeeding in here?'”

Kostiuk says that she was going to breastfeed her baby and asked if it would be a problem.  

When the employees said that it would, she directed Kostiuk to a fitting room.

“Even though I’m sure no one noticed what had happened, I was humiliated.”

Alberta women have the legal right to breastfeed their children anywhere and at anytime. 

Loblaws Companies Limited, parent company of Superstore, apologized to Kostiuk and said that steps have been taken to address the situation. 

“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.”

Jodine Chase from the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton says Kostiuk’s case is not unusual

Her group has dealt with more than a dozen cases over the past year.

"Retailers, businesses, people who manage public spaces need to make sure that they have a policy in place that articulates that right,” she said. “These incidents won't happen if you have a properly trained staff"

Kostiuk is satisfied with the apology and believes that it was sincere.

She decided to share her story to educate nursing mothers, staff and the public on the right for women to breastfeed in public.

With files from Andrea Huncar