JACKSON, Miss. – New and expecting mothers in the Delta will have additional community support with the opening of the CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café on April 27 at the Washington County Health Department in Greenville.
The first location in Mississippi, the Delta Hills Baby Café is a collaboration between the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), and Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices (CHAMPS). CHAMPS is a breastfeeding-focused initiative striving to improve maternal and child health outcomes in several states. Mississippi is the 18th state to adopt this model.
Open at least once a week, the café allows any breastfeeding or pregnant woman to have access to several different services on a drop-in basis, free of charge. Certified counselors offer individual assessments for breastfeeding concerns, and mothers are able to interact with one another in open discussions in a relaxed and comfortable setting for moms and family members.
“Some women have no one in their family or community who have breastfed, and getting support can be challenging,” said Dr. Charlene Collier, a Perinatal Health Advisor to MSDH. “The café, staffed by women from their own community who understand breastfeeding, lets moms know they are supported throughout their journey.”
Mississippi ranks among the lowest in the nation when it comes to breastfeeding; just 61 percent of babies started life being breastfed compared to a national average of 79 percent in 2011, the most recent year that statistics are available.
Research shows that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Mothers who breastfeed have lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer, and infants have lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The Delta Baby Café will be held every Wednesday (except holidays) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1633 Hospital Street, Greenville, MS.
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