JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — Parenthood is scary, especially when it’s your first baby. With so many uncertainties plaguing parental minds, staff at Baby Café USA are now in Jamestown to ease anxiety and provide professional help to breastfeeding parents, free of charge.
Lucia Jenkins founded the first U.S. Baby Café in 2006 with the hopes of providing access to professional quality guidance and support for parents choosing to breastfeed. Now, there are over 140 Baby Cafés country-wide, making access to the support even easier.
“Baby Café is a model that I designed to be used by communities to offer free breastfeeding support of a high professional quality in a covenant, relaxed environment where moms and parents felt comfortable dropping in and getting help for breastfeeding,” explained founder Lucia Jenkins.
Jenkins explains that there are many challenges newfound parents go through when it comes to raising babies.
“For moms, the biggest first one is isolation. Anytime parents become parents, they need a traditional village surrounding them to give them all kinds of hints and tips and just general support, even someone standing there to say ‘let me hold your fussy baby for a bit while you calm down’,” Jenkins said. “For many mothers nowadays, they’re the first person in their generations to ever breastfeed so there’s a lack of information about it. Second of all, babies can be very difficult. Even though breastfeeding is natural for the baby to do, they don’t come out of the womb fully skilled to do this.”
It is Jenkins’ belief that there are multiple unneeded stressors to new mothers, and it is her hope that women will continue to reclaim parenthood.
“It’s really difficult in the United States because women are supposed to go back to work usually at three months and yet they are educated to breastfeed their babies only breastmilk for six months, so at three months you separate the baby from its food source usually five days a work for eight hours a day. It’s really difficult. Then you hand a mother a plastic machine that she’s supposed to extract her baby food out of her body every three to four hours while she’s at work,” Jenkins says.
In the end, the Baby Café is on a mission to help educate parents.
“We hope that lots of moms and parents come, find, and take advantage of it,” said Jenkins.
The Jamestown Baby Café is located at 31 Water Street on the South Side of the City. To find another of the 140 plus cafés or more information, you can visit babycafeusa.org.