There are 79 baby cafes dotted across 70 different US cities, all designed to connect, nurture and support women who’ve chosen to breastfeed their bubs. (The UK has their own version too!)
Just come as you are!
Baby Cafes are kind of like a regular mothers’ group, but they have a particular focus on breastfeeding support.
They offer mums a chance to meet other pregnant or breastfeeding women, get professional advice on feeding their babies and share their experience of parenting with like-minded mums.
“Just come as you are! Baby Café is a drop-in service to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. There will be refreshments and snacks available for you to enjoy as you visit with trained breastfeeding health professionals and other mothers,” the Buffalo Baby Cafe website says.
“We’re here to help. Our cafés provide a relaxed, informal, safe, child-friendly, non-medical environment for families and their babies,” their UK counterparts explain.
The Baby Cafe is designed for ease of use, friendship, advice and chatty comfort. Mums don’t need to make an appointment and the service is totally free, making it accessible to women from all walks of life.
Baby Cafes are not just a boob-focused troubleshooting hub, they’re for mums who are having no problems feeding their babies too and even help pregnant women prepare for birth.
The idea was sparked by lactation expert and executive director for Baby Cafe USA, Lucia Jenkins’ trip to New Zealand.
She told South Coast Today that the way new mums were supported and encouraged to breastfeed in NZ particularly inspired her, and she wanted to create a similarly positive environment for mums in the US.
Baby Cafe USA lactation consultant and nurse Michelle Murray says that breastfeeding is not always encouraged in the States, and Baby Cafes are aiming to address that.
“In other parts of the world, breastfeeding is the norm,” she explained.
“If you’re in the United Kingdom, Sweden or France and you give your baby a bottle, you’re looked at funny. If you’re in the US and you’re breastfeeding, then you get looked at funny.”
We’re all in this together
New mum Amy Rigtrup says the face-to-face interaction with other women and medical professionals is pretty unbeatable and helped her feel more confident as a parent.
“It’s nice to be in a room with a bunch of other mommas and babies,” she explained.
“Better than going on the internet and freaking out by yourself. I find I learn just as much from the other woman then I do the specialist, I find out we’re all in the same boat.”
Baby Cafes are a positive new way of creating the village that’s sadly lacking for many mums, and we’re hoping they will spread to other spots across the globe.
Is this something you’d like to see in your neighbourhood? Is there a need for it?