SHIP Success Story

SHIP story

Baby Café is a place for newborns to start life right

Moms who have questions about breastfeeding have a new place in Buffalo to turn for help and support.

baby and mom at baby cafeBreastfeeding guidance is available at the new Baby Café, a free drop-in breastfeeding group that is staffed by lactation professionals and open twice a month at Wright County Heritage Center and Historical Society. It was started with support from Buffalo Hospital, Wright County Public Health and SHIP.

It provides an environment where moms can feel confident discussing breastfeeding, including with other moms. Participants are encouraged to talk freely, share their knowledge and ask questions about breastfeeding.

"I come to the Baby Café and I’m able to connect with other women who are in a similar situation to me," said Lyndsey Nikula, who has a newborn son.

Photo: Bob Zimmerman

First Baby Café started in England

The first Baby Café was started in England in 2000; the concept came to the United States in 2006. In 2008 it was introduced at the International Lactation Consultant Association in Las Vegas. There are now Baby Cafés in 12 states.

A Baby Café supports all stages of breastfeeding in professional yet nonclinical environments. In Minnesota, in addition to the new Buffalo location, there are Baby Cafés in Pipestone, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Lake City and St. Paul. They are open to anyone interested in finding out how to properly breastfeed, including mothers and expectant mothers, their partners and supporters.

Supporting breastfeeding is one way we can show our commitment to the community. - Amanda Duerr, nurse manager of the Birth Center at Buffalo Hospital

Research shows that breastfed babies are at lower risk for ear and respiratory infections, diarrhea, asthma and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop diabetes or breast or ovarian cancer.

"Supporting breastfeeding is one way we can show our commitment to the community," said Amanda Duerr, nurse manager of the Birth Center at Buffalo Hospital.

"There are so many benefits to breastfeeding," Duerr said, "but many new moms don’t know about them and they go home feeling not feeling comfortable and confident about breastfeeding. The first couple of weeks with a new baby can be a difficult time and it can be overwhelming and exhausting. Moms often give up their breastfeeding goals because they don't understand the benefits and they don't have anyone to ask."

That's where a Baby Café can provide support.

"This Baby Café is the only one in the county; we would love to expand it so that all moms in our county are able to find free, timely and effective breastfeeding support," said Mikaela Robertson, Wright County SHIP coordinator.

Updated Wednesday, January 04, 2017 at 02:46PM