Louisiana finished 49th in the CDC 2018 annual report card breastfeeding initiation ranking. The Healthy People 2020 targets for breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding to six months postpartum and breastfeeding at one year postpartum are 81.9%, 60.6% and 34.1%, respectively. Louisiana trails behind many other states at 67.0%, 39.0% and 20.6%, respectively.
Baby Café provides area families with free, informal, ongoing, high-quality drop-in lactation support by International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. NOLA Baby Café was established to increase the breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates in the New Orleans area. According to a study published in Pediatrics 2008 mothers self-reported that the number one reason they stopped breastfeeding was the infant was not satisfied by breastmilk alone. Others reported reasons for discontinuing breastfeeding include returning to work, discomfort breastfeeding in public and a rough start to breastfeeding. Since June 2016 NOLA Baby Café has been a resource for women in the community. Our goals are to erase stereotypes and misconceptions about breastfeeding therefore removing the barriers to breastfeeding in the community. The NOLA Baby Café provides a relaxed, non-judgmental safe environment for all women bringing together women from all social-economic and racial backgrounds. With this approach we hope to close the breastfeeding gap between whites and women of color creating a paradigm shift in the culture of breastfeeding.
Meshawn Tarver, MPH, HBCE, Doula, CLC(c)
Founder and Executive Officer/Trainer
‘Changing the community through H.E.R. (Health, Education and Research)’