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Go Ask Mom

What happens at a breastfeeding cafe? Find out

Posted January 9, 2011
Updated January 24, 2011

Getting started with breastfeeding both my daughters was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. We survived what seemed like every problem in the book.

I was pretty determined to make it work both times. But without the support of my family, some friends and some wonderful lactation consultants, I probably wouldn't have made it. I've said it before: support is critical for breastfeeding moms. Cicely Rodale and Beth Lao What happens at a breastfeeding cafe? Find out

And that's what the La Leche League's breastfeeding cafes are all about. These are very informal, drop-in programs that are a lot less structured than the usual La Leche League meeting. The discussion revolves around whatever the moms who attend that day want to talk about. But moms come just to talk too. For many, it's that first big outing out with the newborn.

I attended one of the meetings at the Itsy Bitsy Baby Spa at 1055 Darrington Dr., Cary a few months ago. The cafe meets from noon to 1:30 on Fridays at the spa, which I wrote about last month. Moms talked back and forth about the various issues they were facing and offered advice and support.

Now as an aside ... I feature moms and what they're doing on the site every Monday. As every mom I've featured will tell you, I like to work ahead. But I usually don't work this far in advance! But the holidays, starting with Halloween, quickly took over my life after I attended the meeting. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to post this because it's such a great resource out there for nursing moms.

Check the video for more about the cafe from Cicely Rodale, who leads the cafe at the spa, and Beth  Lao, who attended that morning with her baby. (And thanks to Cicely for holding my own baby so I could film it. She wasn't really in the mood to cooperate that day).

And there are other cafes across the region and throughout the week.

They are 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays at Babiology, 2012-A Fairview Rd. in Raleigh; noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays at the Diapering Doula, 4109 Grace Park Dr. in Morrisville; and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays at The Red Hen, 201 Weaver St. in Carrboro.

These are free. And, obviously, babies are more than welcome. For more information about these and other La Leche League meetings and groups, click here.

And for more local breastfeeding resources, click here.


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  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jan 10, 2011

    If they are hot, I am all for it.

  • WillyT Jan 10, 2011

    True, breastfeeding is not always difficult (which is why I said it "can" be difficult, not that it "is" difficult) but if women only hear how easy it is for some, they are likely to think there's something wrong when they encounter difficulty and give up. My point is to let other women know that even if breastfeeding is very difficult in the beginning, you can overcome most issues and be successful.

  • snowl Jan 10, 2011

    Gee, it's not always difficult. I found it very easy, no problems ever, and I had plenty of milk. It was GO right from the delivery room. I just want to let others know they can have a text book success story like my experience! Give it a GO....:)

  • shall6 Jan 10, 2011

    The milk bank is definitely a great resource and we're lucky to have one so close to us all. Thanks eri815 for mentioning.


  • eri815 Jan 10, 2011

    For those who are succeeding at breastfeeding and have been able to freeze extra milk, consider donating it to a milk bank ( There's a milk bank at WakeMed. The only cost to the mother is "time" to pump.
    It's very rewarding to know that you're helping another baby!

  • WillyT Jan 10, 2011

    I, too, attended a few meetings with Cicely and credit La Leche League with my success in breastfeeding my son (5 months and counting). For those of you thinking about breastfeeding but are nervous about it, attend a few of these meetings. It is enormously helpful to have such support. Breastfeeding can be VERY hard at first but once things "click", it is way easier than bottle feeding in my opinion. Besides, there is no greater gift you can give your baby than to start them off with the most superior nutrition available. Breastfeeding is about so much more than just nutrition. I think many women don't get the support they need to weather the difficult first few weeks and give up too soon. Don't listen to naysayers. Breastfeeding can be extremely difficult at first but most problems can be overcome if you commit yourself to it and have a little grit. You can do it and will be so happy you did.