Madelyn Brunow, RN, IBCLC and Becca Clark, who recently started a breastfeeding and cloth diapering support group, met in Missouri Valley on Sept. 18 for a soft opening of the first Baby Café in the state.
Baby Café is a free drop-in center offering breastfeeding support and assistance from professionals in a relaxed environment. They also offer breastfeeding moms the time to learn from and with one another, share experiences, and build friendships.
“We know that moms do better when they have peer support,” Brunow said. “People are welcome to bring family members if they want the support.”
Brunow has been a licensed lactation specialist for nine years and has worked for Harrison County Home and Public Health for the nearly seven.
Grant money funds the Harrison County Baby Café. Additionally, Brunow’s mobile Baby Café will be the first in the nation to provide services in several communities throughout a region.
The support, encouragement, and assistance is crucial in Harrison County, otherwise many breastfeeding women would have to travel up to an hour to consult with lactation specialists and doctors.
“We are really excited with the first (Baby Café) in Iowa and the first mobile café in the nation,” Brunow said.
While Brunow chose Missouri Valley for the soft opening, she plans to also offer a Baby Café in Logan, Woodbine, and Dunlap in November, followed by other Harrison County communities in the future.
“We want to build those connections with others,” Brunow said. “It is also about having a consistent place and time that people can count on.”
Baby Café will be in Woodbine on the first Wednesday of every month beginning in November at the First United Methodist Church, located at 509 Lincolnway St. Times have yet to be scheduled.
On the second Wednesday of each month beginning in November, the Baby Café will be in Dunlap at the Public Library, located at 102 S. 10th St., from 1-3 p.m.
Missouri Valley’s next Baby Café is scheduled in October. They will be held every third Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Healthy Space, 123 N. Sixth St., in the basement of the former Baptist church now owned by Valley Drug. Missouri Valley’s Baby Café grand opening is planned for Wednesday, Nov. 20, Brunow added.
The Baby Café in Logan is held at St. Anne Catholic Church, 112 W. Third St., on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. until noon. The first Logan Baby Café was held on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Times and locations may be adjusted as parents’ needs are considered.
Brunow said she hopes Baby Café will offer residents in Harrison County and neighboring communities additional breastfeeding support.
Additionally, the Missouri Valley Breast Feeding and Cloth Diapering group, led by Clark, will meet the first Wednesday of each month, from 11 a.m. to noon; the second Wednesday of each month from 6:45-7:45 p.m., and the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6:30-7 p.m. for cloth diapering and from 7-7:45 p.m. for breastfeeding support. All meetings will be held at the Healthy Space in Missouri Valley and all parents are welcome.
Those who do not breastfeed or use cloth diapers are also welcome to attend and learn more.
Snacks and water will be provided. Parents are also encouraged to visit the Missouri Valley IA Breastfeeding and Cloth Diapering Support Facebook page.
“I was looking for a support group, and I quickly found out that there aren’t any in the area,” Clark said. “I started my own journey into becoming an IBCLC a couple of months ago, and I began this support group to benefit me for support and for my hours for certification.”
More information will be available in the future.