Lynn Community Health Center celebrated the official Grand Opening of The Baby Café on November 19.
The Baby Café, a collaboration between the health center, the Early Intervention Partnership Program, North Shore Medical Center, WIC, and Mass in Motion, offers free breastfeeding support and assistance from professionals and other moms—all in a relaxed atmosphere. Located in the lower level of the health center’s 269 Union Street location, it is open to everyone every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – noon. All pregnant or breastfeeding women are welcome to drop in at any time during opening hours, and there is no requirement that participants be patients at Lynn Community Health Center.
On hand to celebrate was Lucia Jenkins, founder of Baby Café USA. She was instrumental in the opening of the first US Baby Café in 2006, Hallmark Health System’s Baby Café in Melrose, MA, and has helped the Baby Café network grow to over 42 sites in 12 states. “Through my experience with breastfeeding my own five children, I’ve come to realize that it is not easy and women need support to be successful,” said Jenkins. “Breastfeeding is the greatest gift a mother can give to her children. The Baby Café is a way we can give her the support she needs.”
Participant Michelle Newhall was enthusiastic as she described how much easier it has been with her second child now that she has the Baby Café as a resource. “My first child was born 10 years ago, and I knew nothing about how to be a parent. My pediatrician was my only resource, and I was on the phone with his office constantly,” she said. “The Baby Café is the place I come now for answers to all my questions. Now I spend more time at the Baby Café and less time with doctors.”
Kitty Hunt, RN, MSN IBCLC, from the Early Intervention Partnership Program presented data comparing rates of breastfeeding in Lynn compared to the state average, which is higher. “The advantages of breastfeeding to both mother and child are enormous, but it is often difficult,” she said. “Our goal is to make is possible for more mothers in our community to give this gift to their children.”
Leanne McDermott, RN, Nurse Manager at Lynn Community Health Center, shared that the Baby Café at Lynn Community Health Center has been operating since last spring, and has served 41 moms in that time. “Many of our moms come regularly, seeking advice from our staff, but also finding friendship and support from each other,” she said.
The Baby Café is a resource for anyone living or working in our community. For more information click here or contact Lynn Community Health Center’s Women’s Health Department at 781-596-6511 or the Early Intervention Partnership Program at 781-593-2727, ext 2200.