Nova Scotia

Woman gives birth in Halifax grocery store

A young Halifax mother gave birth to a baby boy inside the washroom of the Atlantic Superstore in Bayers Lake on Friday. Store staff and a doctor helped deliver the baby.

Assistant store manager alerted to unexpected delivery after hearing screams coming from washroom

Assistant store manager Malcolm Comeau says the baby boy appeared healthy after his unconventional entrance into the world. (Google Streetview)

An expectant mother left a Halifax grocery store Friday with a bundle of joy instead of a load of groceries. 

An assistant store manager at the Atlantic Superstore in Bayers Lake said he emerged from his office around noon because he heard someone screaming in the women's washroom.

When Malcolm Comeau opened the door, he found a woman in one of the stalls with the door open giving birth to a baby.

"The baby (had) already proceeded to come, so I grabbed my phone right away, called 911," Comeau said.

Cashier, doctor helped

A colleague who was just arriving for her shift walked by the commotion and jumped in to lend a hand.

"We have a [medical] clinic right here at the store so I went over there to get the doctor as well while I was on the phone with 911," said Comeau. 

"The doctor came over and one of our cashiers helped her finish delivering her baby."

The mother and her new baby boy, who Comeau said seemed healthy, left the store by ambulance.

"The mother smiled at me when she left and she had the baby laying on her," he said.

"We hope they come back and see us when everything is all said and done."

Never heard of a store birth

Comeau has worked for the grocer for 32 years and said he's never heard of a birth happening in any of the stores.

"We've had a couple get married in this store," he said.

If the family returns, Comeau said the store will do something special for them to celebrate.

Comeau has first-aid training but said he was lucky that a cashier was willing to step in and help.

There was still a lot of talk and excitement about the birth later in the afternoon.

About the Author

Sherri Borden Colley has been a reporter for more than 20 years. Many of the stories she writes are about social justice, race and culture, human rights and the courts. To get in touch with Sherri email sherri.borden.colley@cbc.ca