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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Baby Cafe hosts 'Celebration of Breastfeeding'



breastfeeding.jpgI knew when I got pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed. I just didn’t expect it to be so hard. I took a class. I read a book. I met with several lactation consultants at the hospital. I bought gear (I will spare you the details). And I still wanted to quit -- the first day, the second day, and a lot of days after.

Baby Cafe gets this. And it has managed to make the experience better for 450 moms.

Funded by the Healthy Start Coalition, Tampa’s Baby Cafe links certified lactation consultants with new mothers. Some have babies in the NICU and need breast pumps so they can provide their infants with breastmilk when they’re not there. Some struggle with latching and holds. Some have babies with the scary diagnosis of “failure to thrive” and need to know how to make sure their newborns get enough milk and start putting on weight.

Check out their website here for all they offer. It’s all free, too.

But most of the moms come in through referrals, which means they need to know to ask for help or an agency or doctor they’re seeing needs to know to recommend it for breastfeeding help. Program director Alex Boyer wants to spread the word about what Baby Cafe does and why it’s important.

Boyer is organizing a “celebration of breastfeeding” from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Family Support and Resource Center, 1401 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. Baby Cafe has helped moms there and through home visits for four years. It seemed like a good time to introduce more community members to its services, Boyer said, and recognize organizations that have provided support.

breastpump.jpgMoms who have received help have also been invited, and Baby Cafe is naming one the “breastfeeding mom of the year.” She managed to pump for twins while raising three other children and working full time as a housekeeper, Boyer said. Which made me decide to stop complaining about how much I disliked pumping for one child in an office.

Cool Mo’s is providing a gourmet coffee bar, and there will be croissants and baguettes with cheese and meat to munch on.

The ABC Program and Baby Cafe (both Child Abuse Council programs) will also show a video about the importance of skin-to-skin contact between mothers and babies. The movie will play on repeat with a short discussion group afterward.

Anyone who supports breastfeeding -- a woman who is currently doing it or has in the past or works with new moms -- and wants to network with like-minded people in the community is invited. RSVP to Boyer no later than Monday at (813) 356-1293, ext. 244, or email [email protected]

--Courtney Cairns Pastor

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[Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 3:53pm]


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