FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Looking for more information about what the BEE Program is all about? This is a collection of all the questions we are asked most often, listed here for your convenience. If there is anything we didn’t cover, please let us know.
ABOUT THE BEE PROGRAM
What is the BEE Program? The Breastfeeding Education & Equity Program is a Calgary, Alberta-based program that provides 1:1 lactation support and companionship for new parents. Experienced and trained mentors are matched 1:1 with peers who need assistance, with the aim to help them achieve their breastfeeding goals.
How are mentors matched with parents in need? After mentors complete the mandatory 3-day training, they are matched with breast/bodyfeeding parents in need by the BEE Program.
What is NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank? Our agency recruits and screens breastfeeding mothers. These donors drop off their excess milk, and we test, pasteurize and distribute it to sick and fragile babies in hospitals and in the community.
Who can sign up to become a mentor? Parents in Calgary with at least 6 months of breastfeeding experience can fill out the application form.
How are BEE Program mentors trained? Training takes place in Calgary over three day - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Full attendance to all three days is mandatory.
Is there a cost for mentor training? Training is free! Successful aplicants must attend for three days, with meals and free limited childcare for kids under 5 included. Babes in arms are welcome in the training room
What is the application process to become a mentor? Parents who qualify to be a mentor fill out the application form and will be interviewed. Please note there are a limited number of training spots, so not all applicants are guaranteed a spot.
How much time should Mentors expect to commit to the BEE Program? - The Bee Program Mentor Training is an in-person training, over three 7-hour days; full attendance to the training is required - Each Breastfeeding Mentor will be expected to attend monthly volunteer meetings - Volunteer for any of the following roles: - 1:1 BEE Match(s) regular and responsive contact with matches. - Latch & Learn Sessions - Time commitment may vary according to peer’s availability, however, 2 – 4 hours per week is encouraged. - A minimum of 1 year commitment
RECEIVING SUPPORT FROM A BEE MENTOR
How do I get a mentor to help me with breastfeeding, bodyfeeding, or pumping concerns? Fill out our Mentor Request Form here, and we will match you up with a Mentor who meets your needs!
What kind of support will I receive? Mentors reach out initially over the phone or text, and can also provide support this way as well. They can also meet you in-person, in a public place such as a café, library, public health centre, or at the milk bank.
Is there a cost for mentor support? No - all Bee Mentor support and classes are completely free!