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City Opens Baby Cafe, Encourages New Mothers To Breastfeed

Joey Palacios
TPR News
Blanca Trevino and her son, Jay Anthony Mata, join Annette and Mareya Rangel at the opening day of the Baby Café."

San Antonio Metropolitan Health is opening Baby Café to help new and expectant mothers with breastfeeding.

The goal of the new center is to increase breastfeeding rates in San Antonio. It looks more like a massage parlor than a doctor’s office and that’s the point.

“It’s a drop-in center that’s got couches and places for women to sit back and enjoy themselves and feel at ease," said Jennifer Herriot, the assistant director of community health at MetroHealth.

Seventy seven percent of new mothers in San Antonio breastfeed in the hospital, but that drops down to 57 percent once they leave -- that’s lower than the state average. At the café, mom and dad can talk to nutritionists and lactation consultations to learn about the benefits, of which Herriot said there are many.

"They have a lesser chance of getting asthma of getting pneumonia, of getting ear infections,” Herriot said. “One of the things we’re focusing on is they have a reduced possibility of becoming overweight or obese later on in life which is super important.”

She added that it also helps mom get back to pre-pregnancy weight.

The majority of the funding for Baby Café comes from Medicaid through a program targeting obesity prevention. This center is on the Northwest side near Callaghan and Loop 410 at 4538 Centerview Drive suite 151. Other centers are being set up at five WIC (Women, Infants and Children) centers across the city.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules