Baby Café & Breastfeeding Support

As a Baby-Friendly Designated hospital, we support immediate mother-baby bonding and encourage breastfeeding for your baby's best health. We want to support you and your family in this decision even after you leave the hospital.

New Beginnings Baby Café supports breastfeeding mothers in every aspect of nursing, from starting to weaning and every variation in between. It is facilitated by two registered nurses who are also IBCLC lactation consultants. All pregnant and breastfeeding moms are welcome to attend this free support group every Tuesday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Prairie Perk Up coffee shop in Brookings Hospital and every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the New Beginnings Birth Center Family Lounge. 

Watch & Learn

Brookings’ moms talk about the support of their birth plans and breastfeeding choices at the New Beginnings Birth Center.

Dr. Emily Abele explains the benefits of breastfeeding for both moms and babies, as well as how Brookings Health System supports new families through the process.

What it Means to Be a Baby-Friendly Hospital

As a Baby-Friendly Designated hospital, we've earned international recognition for our efforts in giving babies a healthy start to life. Our care practices have been verified by Baby-Friendly USA which requires New Beginnings Birth Center to have policies in place that enhance mother-baby bonding, offer optimal care for infant feeding, and ensures babies' nutritional needs are adequately met, regardless of whether a mother chooses to breastfeed or formula feed.

What our Baby-Friendly Designation means for you and your baby is that our team will support you with the education and tools to successfully feed your child. We also encourage mother-baby bonding techniques, such as skin-to-skin and rooming in, to allow mother and baby to get know one another and learn feeding cues.

Important Breastfeeding Tips

“Rooming in” encourages bonding with baby and allows you to learn critical feeding cues from your baby: awakening, smacking or sucking noises, opening mouth, attempting to bring fists to mouth, rooting reflex (turning head towards anything that touches cheek), sticking tongue out. Crying is a late sign of hunger for newborns and may make latching more difficult. Mothers who keep their babies with them at night report feeling more rested than mothers whose babies stay in the nursery overnight.

The doctors and nurses will help you to achieve skin-to-skin contact (no clothing or bedding between you and baby) as soon as possible. This helps to calm the baby and regulate the baby’s temperature, respirations, and blood sugar. Skin-to-skin contact will help your baby latch to your nipple and remain nursing for longer periods of time, leading to improved milk production from your body.

Expect your baby to nurse 8-12 times in 24 hours. Suckling at the breast and emptying the breast will prompt your body to increase milk production. To ensure adequate milk production, nurse your baby on demand. Reading your baby’s cues will allow you to watch him/her rather than the clock.

Take care of yourself and rest when your baby sleeps the first day so you can take care of your baby the second night. Often babies will experience “second night security” from 9 P.M. to 1 A.M. the second evening and may become fussy. This is because the baby is testing the new environment outside of the womb and learning to cope with new needs, not because he/she is hungry. Your baby is learning to develop trust as he/she expresses a need and you respond. Skin-to-skin contact can calm your baby during this time. Avoid formula during this critical period. Remember, your milk supply is dependent on your baby’s demand for your milk. Supplemental feedings or artificial baby milk can decrease your milk production. All your baby needs is your milk.

Breastfeeding Benefits

As a Baby-Friendly Designated hospital, we believe parents should understand the benefits of breastmilk for their babies. It has been estimated that 900 infant lives per year may be saved in the United States if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfed their babies for six months.

Studies have shown the following benefits to babies who were ever breast fed versus exclusive feeding with artificial baby milk:

  • 15-30% reduction of adolescent and adult obesity
  • 64% reduction incidence of gastrointestinal tract infections (benefit continues for two months after weaning infant)
  • Decreased incidence of ear infections

Studies have shown the following benefits to babies who were exclusively breastfed for three to six months:

  • Decreased incidence of asthma, eczema, and atopic dermatitis
  • Reduction of Type 1 Diabetes
  • Reduction in the risk of developing Celiac Disease
  • Reduction of Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma
  • Reduction in the risk for childhood inflammatory bowel disease
  • Higher intelligence scores
  • Decreased incidence of SIDS death
  • Decreased risk of serious colds and ear/throat infections

The following organizations recommend that mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months (no foods or liquids other than breast milk) and continue to breastfeed their babies for at least twelve months:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • World Health Organization
  • Unicef