I think some are confused by the word “cafe”. The cafe is a support group to be certain. It comes from a growing concept out there of bringing renewed warmth & sisterhood to the age-old traditional support group. Just Google “breastfeeding cafe” and you will find many nice groups and variations on the theme.
And while one cafe may differ from the next, the goal is the same: regular support to new moms in need, facilitated by a breastfeeding expert – usually an IBCLC or LLLL.
So what does our Cafe provide?
Why a yoga studio and not a real coffee shop? Good question. We like the vibe and energy that a yoga studio provides. The daily ritual of healing energy and transformation that happens in a yoga studio is very appealing and you can feel it when you enter. It also provides privacy! Sitting in a coffee shop has its benefits too. A coffee shop would certainly allow us to charge less, likely a suggested donation. But the group flow would be more like a Q&A, with far less hands on opportunity because of the privacy issue. Many women would feel less comfortable having us help manage a poor latch or show them proper technique sitting in the middle of a coffee shop.
Does it differ from Mother-to-mother support like LLL? Yes. In several ways. In our area finding a regular, local, weekly breastfeeding group is a challenge. Our idea of a Breastfeeding Cafe is to provide weekly support so a new mom never has to wait more than a few days to get her answers.
Also, while our roots are with LLL and we have been LLL leaders for years, the skill set we bring to The Breastfeeding Cafe is our expertise as IBCLC. We are able to work with problems and issues that a new mom would not find at her local mother-to-mother or mommy group. Our experience goes way beyond the normal course of breastfeeding. We want you to know we are here for your big problems and challenges.
And because we are a group setting the added benefit to our group is that you do get plenty of sisterhood and meeting new moms to boot!
So is it like a traditional support group where women gather for Q&A with an expert facilitator? Yes. You bring the questions, we’ll provide the answers and hands on support for whatever challenge you bring to us.
Is it a group clinic or a health care provider service? Yes it can be looked at this way in the sense that an IBCLC is a part of your health care provider team! We do not do super bills for insurance in this setting though. It is fee-for-service. If your needs are so complex that we can not provide full attention to you in this setting we would do some initial intake and analysis and then recommend a private visit in your home. You are coming to the group to have an IBCLC put eyes and hands on you to make sure you are doing it right. If that can not be handled in an hour and a half, don’t worry, we won’t let you leave without options and choice!
Do you get one on one support or is it more general information? Both! Depending on how many mothers join us, we will make time to sit with you one on one if time allows. Many general issues are questions all mothers share in the first few weeks of motherhood. So general information is always useful. When the subject of managing engorgement comes up even if we’re working with one mother (showing how to massage the breast, get an optimal latch or correct positioning) our instruction will help all mothers who are gathered and listening.
Are we sitting around talking in sisterhood or is there a topic or lecture? We are talking in sisterhood, one wise woman to another. You bring the issues and challenges, we provide the wisdom and support. We would never want you to leave if you don’t feel you had a chance to have your questions answered. If no one has specific questions, we’ll lead the discussion on topics appropriate to the age of the infants in attendance.
Is there really tea available? Yes, there really is! As we like to say, “come sit for some tea and wisdom!”
Hopefully this will bring clarity to what we’re trying to build. We are ever evolving in hopes that we can best meet the needs of our community! Please be in touch and email us or join our Facebook page. Let us know what YOU would like to see us offer!
Breastfeeding Blessings ~
Deirdre & Lenora