On August 15th, 2017, Southside Hospital launched the first Baby Café in the metropolitan area.
The hospital hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony during National Breastfeeding Month, which was attended by more than a dozen breastfeeding moms, their babies, and hospital officials.
Baby Cafés are licensed groups that provide breastfeeding mothers with both peer and professional support. All mothers are welcome whether they are new, experienced, or expecting. Through the New York State Department of Health "Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities" five-year grant which began in February 2017, the BFREE team aims to create a sustainable care continuum to support breastfeeding mothers and infants throughout Long Island. We are working on breastfeeding promotion in four catchment areas on Long Island, including Islip. To achieve the Breastfeeding Friendly designation for sites along the infant care continuum, we are collaborating with obstetric and pediatric practices, worksites, and child care centers/day care homes in these areas, as well as creating Baby Cafés. Cafés are led by volunteer facilitators, and breastfeeding mothers can expect to share their breastfeeding experiences and challenges with other mothers, who can also receive assistance at meetings from experienced and certified lactation professionals. The staff maintains record of each mother’s progress to document the evidence-based benefits of Baby Cafés, setting them apart from other breastfeeding support groups. A full list of Baby Cafes can be found here:
Collaboratively, the BFREE team, Southside Hospital, and NYSDOH successfully opened the Baby Café at Southside to provide a free resource for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. With the encouragement of leadership at Southside Hospital, the BFREE team worked closely with their site champion, Wendi Andria, to offer support to breastfeeding moms and their families in order to meet their breastfeeding goals.
The Baby Café is open every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m in Southside Hospital. For more information, please contact Wendi Andria, MS, RNC-OB, IBCLC, lactation coordinator, at (631) 894-5282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.