If you haven’t heard about these “Breastfeeding Cafes” then you aren’t alone. When I first read an article about a group in Canada doing this I wondered first, what the heck a Breastfeeding Cafe was and second, why I didn’t know about this magic place sooner.
Well, so you don’t feel left out, here’s the skinny on exactly what a Breastfeeding Cafe is and why we need more of these.
What is a Breastfeeding Cafe?
At first, I thought it was an actual cafe but that’s not exactly the case (I know, I was sad too). Essentially, a Breastfeeding Cafe (or also known as a Baby Cafe) is a group of women who met to share experiences, mingle and just hang out with other moms and of course Breastfeed! This could be at a Church, school, park, an actual cafe, etc. It’s really just a support and social group for moms who are nursing or pregnant.
Why is this so cool?
While it is encouraging that breastfeeding rates in the US are on the rise at 77% of mothers choosing to breastfeed, more than half stop before their baby is 6 months old. And only 27% are continuing to their baby’s first birthday.
Having other moms to lean on for support can be huge for helping a breastfeeding mother continue her journey. I always found that having friends who are going through the same stage of raising children to be so encouraging.
Being able to compare stories, tips, things we have learned or pull each other up after a rough “mommy day” is invaluable. I see groups like Breastfeeding and Baby Cafes in the same light.
Another reason why I love this idea is that Breastfeeding can be very taboo. Nothing seems to put a huge “share at me and make rude comments” target on your back like breastfeeding in public. And it doesn’t matter if you are covering up or not.
When I had my first baby I was not prepared for all the rude comments I would get. I didn’t have very thick skin and really took some of the comments to heart. I’ve had people tell me I should “have more decency” and “really do you need to do that here?” I was being discrete and was using a nursing cover. Heck, girls shirts reveal more these days.
So the idea of all these mothers gathered in public places to breastfeed has me giddy with delight. I almost wish I could be there cause there is strength in numbers. I mean who would dare say something to a hormonal group of sleep deprived mothers? Well and live to tell about it anyway?
What a fantastic way to show society that we need to stop making breastfeeding a shameful act that gets shut away. Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful.
If I was to go back and be a first time mom again I would search high and low for a group like a Breastfeeding Cafe to join. I think my early breastfeeding days could have gone much differently. If nothing else, misery loves company!
Where can you find a Breastfeeding Cafe?
Now that I got you all fired up about nursing in public, let me help you find a group to make a statement with. But seriously, if you want to join one (and why shouldn’t you?!), there are non profit groups that run Breastfeeding Cafes, like Baby Cafe USA. They hold meetings in select cities across the US periodically.
It’s free to attend and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can meet with specially trained staff to gain support and resources. Their website has a list of all Baby Cafe listings in the US and the meeting times. It’s only in select cities so if you are lucky enough to live near one, check it out and let us know how it went!
The La Leche League is a supporter of Breastfeeding/Baby Cafes and may also have some listings on their website. Or a quick internet search for breastfeeding cafe plus your city might turn something up.
Or better yet ,you can start your own and invite us! I don’t technically have a baby to nurse any more but I’m a lot of fun and will stare rudely back at those who stare at you while you nurse (I’ve got your back).
So now you know everything. Or just enough to be dangerous. Breastfeeding Cafes are the best thing since sliced bread!
What do you think of Breastfeeding Cafes? Would you join or would you have joined if given the opportunity? What do you think about society’s view on breastfeeding in public? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!