The first Jersey Baby Café was set up in April this year to provide support and information for breastfeeding mothers and those interested in breastfeeding, and was officially launched on 7 December 2006. Our launch went off extremely well, with about 60 people attending ranging from mothers to health professionals and others interested in breastfeeding. Jersey’s head of midwifery, Elaine Torrence came along with many midwives from our local hospital, and head of Family Nursing and Home Care, Karen Huchet gave a small speech about how Baby Café came about, and why we have set up a Baby Café in Jersey.
Our local BBC Radio did an interview with Sandra Noel, NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor to help promote the Baby Café and our local newspaper, Jersey Post printed an article regarding the launch.
One of our local Health Visitors made a fantastic cake with the Baby Café logo, and this was shared, along with other nibbles and non alcoholic drinks.
Jersey Baby Café is being run and supported by Health Visitors (Family Nursing and Home Care), NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors (National Childbirth Trust) and the Midwifery Team (Health and Social Services). Giving weekly support are Jan Ison in her role as a Health Visitor and Sandra Noel as a voluntary NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor, with helpful input from the busy midwifery team.
Since the end of April, over 50 new mothers have come to The Baby Café with their babies. Many of them return weekly to meet other breastfeeding mothers, and ideas are often shared over a cuppa and croissant or a sandwich.
Feedback from mothers attending the Café has been great, and many friendships have been formed. Some women have used the Baby Café as a first place to go out and breastfeed (being with other mothers is a great confidence builder), while others have attended with a particular concern or information request. We have feeding cushions, play mats and toys, plus high chairs for older babies, and we offer support and information on all breastfeeding issues.
During its first seven months, Baby Café has had over 200 mothers through the door with their babies. Many mothers come along to meet other breastfeeding mothers and share support and helpful ideas; as well as for support and guidance on various issues from establishing breastfeeding and positioning baby at the breast, all the way through to weaning, and returning to work.
Baby Café Jersey is situated at Communicare Centre in the comfortable surroundings of Communicare's Café. Commonly, mothers can be found discussing breastfeeding and other issues whilst enjoying a cuppa and a croissant. Many friendships have been formed over the past seven months, and often at 1pm when Baby Café finishes, mothers leave for lunch at the local Garden Centre or go to each other's houses. All of this helps to enable a new mother to gain confidence in her newly found breastfeeding skill, and she will then feel able to breastfeed confidently whilst out and about.
We are always keen to have new breastfeeding mothers from all over the Island, and therefore Baby Café is promoted by the Midwives, Health Visitors and the NCT. We meet every Thursday morning between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. which people dropping in throughout this time.
Baby Café Jersey is grateful for a donation from Channel 103 “Help a Jersey Child”, which has enabled us to purchase an information board and useful breastfeeding information leaflets.
Further information regarding Baby Café Jersey can be obtained from Jan Ison on 716683 (voicemail) and Sandra Noel on 636079 (dedicated NCT Breastfeeding telephone number).