DANSVILLE – New moms and their babies and kids celebrated the grand opening of the Healthy Baby Café at the Genesee Community College on Aug. 13 alongside GCC, Noyes Health, Dansville Central School and Genesee Valley Health Partnership, and the Livingston County Department of Health.
According to a press release from the Livingston County Department of Health, the site is part of Baby Café USA, a national network of free breastfeeding drop-ins which combine breastfeeding information with a relaxed, informal environment where moms can chat and learn about breastfeeding from skilled practitioners and each other.
“It is very exciting that there is breastfeeding support for the community,” said Katie Wightman, who plans to be an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in the fall. “Rural areas face unique barriers. Breastfeeding support is needed, especially in our area.”
In addition to breastfeeding support and education, all attendees were included in prize drawings. Tasha Madera won a Wegmans gift card, Brandy Andrews won an Old Navy gift card, and Debra Nilsson won a Walmart gift card.
The Healthy Baby Café is a new program that comes through a collaborative effort from the Livingston County Department of Health, Noyes Health, Dansville Central School and Genesee Valley Health Partnership. A New York State Health Foundation Grant provides funding for the café.
“While physicians support breastfeeding, women may only see their healthcare provider during an office visit for a short time,” said Dr. Christian Wightman, Tri County Family Medicine Inc. physician. “The Baby Café is a place where women can receive enhanced support to continue to breastfeed their baby. This community based resource, which is available free of charge, helps to improve the health of our community.”
One of the priorities that was identified in a recent community health assessment is chronic disease prevention, which includes obesity prevention, and is a focus area of the community health improvement plan.
The Department of Health says that breastfeeding is one of six proven, cost-effective interventions that can prevent maternal and newborn mortality, and obesity. Although the breastfeeding rate in Livingston County is trending upward, key stakeholders in the community continue to strive to improve the rate to improve health outcomes among new mothers and infants.
The Café is open every Thursday, with the exception of federal holidays, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Genesee Community College at 31Clara Barton Street in Dansville. Children are welcome and refreshments are provided.
For further information about the Healthy Baby Café please contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7299 or visit www.livingstoncounty.us/doh.htm. To find out about other US Baby Cafés, you can visit www.babycafeusa.org.