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Baby Café to launch in Hastings May 17

The Baby Café in Hastings will launch May 17. It will act as a drop-in center that provides experts, support and breastfeeding encouragement for moms. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Individual rooms are available at Baby Cafe for moms to meet in private with lactation consultants. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

A Baby Café will launch May 17 in Hastings. No, the "café" will not be serving coffee to babies. Instead, it will act as a drop-in center that provides experts, support and breastfeeding encouragement for moms.

The Café is a collaboration between Regina Hospital's Family Birth Center, part of Allina, and TLC of Hastings. It will offer resources such as nurses, lactation counselors, a board-certified lactation consultant and a place for new parents to relate about pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, newborn, infant, toddler and child-raising experiences.

"A place like Baby Café is such a unique community service," said Bobbi Kieffer, lactation counselor for the Regina Hospital Family Birth Center. "It's a setting in which a new mom or dad can find other parents who are going through the same things and where they can find the support of experts who can guide them through difficult times."

Ronda Pelzer, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, said she has noticed that mothers are not getting enough support after leaving the hospital. Sometimes problems with breastfeeding are not found because a mother's stay at the hospital is not as long as it used to be.

"There's a huge lack in after they go home," Pelzer said.

Kieffer agreed. Breast milk can take between two to five days to come in, so when mothers stayed for two to three nights after delivery they were getting educated by hospital staff. Now mothers can oftentimes go home after just 24 hours.

If an issue did arise, many mothers were traveling to Minneapolis or St. paul for help, but it is much easier to stay in the community with a newborn. Kieffer said there are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding for both mother and child and if a mother does not have support, sometimes she gives up.

"This will give them the opportunity to reach their breastfeeding goal," Kieffer said.

While the Baby Café is geared toward mothers in need of support, Kieffer and Pelzer said that everyone is welcome.

"Everyone can come, even if you don't feel like you are having issues," Pelzer said.

Mothers benefit from talking to one another in addition to conversations with the available experts, Pelzer said. Refreshments will be available for those mother to mother conversations. There will also be smaller individual rooms to give mothers privacy with a lactation consultant if they wish.

Baby Café will be available for moms, dads and siblings to drop-in every Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon at 1125 S. Frontage Road, Suite 2 in Hastings.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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