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Baby Café offers expert help, friendship, encouragement for moms

RIVER FALLS, Wis. 05/08/2014

The search for a resource for new moms has given birth to a new group in western Wisconsin.

Baby Café celebrates its Grand Opening on Tuesday, May 20, and new moms across River Falls, Ellsworth, Spring Valley, Hudson and beyond are already feeling the benefit.

The group, which is run by Karen Gresback, an international board certified lactation consultant and RN at River Falls Area Hospital, started bringing pregnant and breastfeeding moms together in November 2013.

"Karen had been trying to find some resources because so many moms were going home and there was not sufficient support for breastfeeding," said Julie McGary, nurse manager of the hospital's Birth Center.

Karen knew many moms were aware of the widely publicized benefits of breast feeding - for example, increased immunity and lower rates of asthma, obesity, lower respiratory infections and type 2 diabetes—but sometimes that knowledge alone was not sufficient once the new mother arrived home.

"Moms can go home so overwhelmed and exhausted and emotional," said Karen. "The first couple of weeks are such a difficult time. Baby Café is a comfortable place for moms to come to get that support and advice."

She offers assistance to mothers who may have difficulty getting their baby to latch, who aren't sure whether their babies are getting enough to eat or are looking for tips before their baby's arrival on how to get the best start to breastfeeding.

In addition to the professional advice from Karen, the moms offer encouragement and tips to one another.

First time mother Kensey Schultz made the trip to Baby Café as her first proper outing once she arrived home after giving birth to her daughter Tenley two months ago.

"I have met other moms who share similar experiences, and that's a really neat piece of it," she said. "Breastfeeding takes practice, persistence and patience. The Baby Café group has encouraged me to work through my own challenges. I feel fortunate, especially as I know breastfeeding does not work for everyone."

About River Falls Area Hospital

River Falls Area Hospital, part of Allina Health, is a not-for-profit regional medical center committed to providing quality, comprehensive care to patients in western Wisconsin - from disease prevention to innovative diagnostic and treatment services for simple to complex medical conditions. The hospital provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient, cancer care and emergency care services.

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services

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