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!
Hi Heather, thanks for making me aware of breastfeeding cafes as I never heard about it before.
I believe that feeding a baby is a natural process and it is up to mum how she wants to feed her baby whether covered or uncovered. i think people should respect a mum rather than commenting.
Heather Grace says
I completely agree! Breastfeeding is very natural and should not been looked down on. It’s the old, “if you can’t say something nice…” kind of thing.
I’m beyond the age of breast feeding, but I absolutely believe it is a totally natural thing to do. I don’t see anything wrong with nursing in public as long as you use a nursing cover. I just don’t see what people get so worked up about.
Nursing babies is just fine, but I think it’s overboard when mothers are still nursing their children as old as 5 years.
I think the idea of breast feeding cafes is the hoot! It’s like a feeding station!
Great article Heather. Thanks for the info.
Heather Grace says
Yes, I am not sure why people get so worked up, even with a cover. I will never forget taking a tour at public attraction when my then 5 month old was hungry. I quietly went to the back of the crowd and pull out my nursing cover and began to feed him while we followed the group. It made the usher there sooooo uncomfortable! He asked me about 100 times if I would like to know where the bathroom was. Um, no, I would perfer not to feed my baby in the bathroom. haha it was really quite funny!
I would hang out at a breastfeeding cafe any day!
I am not sure I have much to say about the subject except that I noticed this subject being quite strong lately even here where I live(Sweden). I saw an article in local newspapper this morning where this has been discussed. Some people do not like the idea of seeing the mothers breastfeeding in front of them. I do not understand why, you do not have to look if you do not like it. I find that point of view unreasonable, but that is just me. Maybe it is good idea to have these cafees after all!
All the best!
Heather Grace says
I think that’s the sad part that people are so easily offended by the sight of a breastfeeding mother that it makes the news… I have seen girls wear clothing that shows more than when a mother breastfeeds. Honestly, it’s crazy! But I agree with you that if you are bothered then just look away! It’s very simple!
This is the first I’ve heard of breastfeeding cafes, but the idea makes perfect sense. Parents are becoming more and more isolated, and it’s becoming more challenging to create a healthy family.
If nursing mothers can share experiences and support, I’m sure everyone will benefit. Plus, as the babies grow up the mothers can continue to share advice and support.
Heather Grace says
Yes! I agree with you about everyone benefiting! We don’t do enough face-to-face time (that’s not on the iPhone I mean) these days. Getting together in person is so valuable! It really take a village! Thank you for stopping by!
Being a new mummy breastfeeding is part of my everyday life. Recently I’ve noticed there was a lot of comments on TV on the subject of breastfeeding and should you do it in public or not.
The idea of breastfeeding cafes is brilliant â€“ to go somewhere where you know that other people won’t mind and won’t have a problem with you feeding your baby and to see other like-minded people.
Your web-site is very helpful and could be used by all new mums. There is all the information a mum needs about feeding their newborn â€“ breastfeeding, pumping, storing the pumped milk, etc.
I like that you also included pages about some medical problems that are associated with breastfeeding and pumping as to inform mothers how to better take care of themselves.
Also, Product Reviews & Accessories page is useful, because you don’t only recommend 1 pump, but you offer rating of the most commonly used pumps by mums, so every woman can make their own opinion.
I’ve used some of the products and I agree with the ratings.
Heather Grace says
Thank you for your comment! I am glad you are enjoying the site and I agree with you about noticing the recent comments in the media about breastfeeding in public. There can be so much pressure on a new mother to please everyone else rather than focus on what’s important – feeding her baby. I wish I had a Breastfeeding cafe to attend when I was breastfeeding! Best wishes to you on your journey!