Missouri’s first and only Baby Café has opened in Sedalia. The café, located on the campus of Bothwell Regional Health Center, is a project of the Pettis County Breastfeeding Coalition, a task force of a community consortium of health-care and educational organizations.

The Baby Café is a drop-in, educational center the offers free support to breastfeeding mothers in a comfortable, coffeehouse setting. It is staffed by lactation consultants, breastfeeding counselors from Women Infant Children (WIC) and nurses who provide education and resources to women who are breastfeeding or women who are pregnant and considering breastfeeding. Currently, the Baby Cafe is open every Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Organizers celebrated the café’s grand opening with an open house and reception on Monday, March 30.

“Our staff is committed to providing the highest standards of excellence in regards to breastfeeding information. We want local moms to know that we are a free resource for breastfeeding information and they can drop by without an appointment, bring their children and just relax in this cozy atmosphere,” said Mary Lou Shane, co-chair of the Breastfeeding Coalition and a lactation consultant at Baby Café.

The cafe is located inside the Bothwell Education Center at 600 E. Fourteenth Street in Sedalia. Construction and furnishings of the Baby Café was made possible with funds from a Bothwell Regional Health Center Foundation grant, Missouri WIC Program and Wal-Mart Foundation. The hospital donated the space, materials and manpower for renovating it.

The Pettis County Breastfeeding Coalition consists of representatives of Pettis County Health Center, Bothwell Regional Health Center, Sedalia School District, Early Head Start, Birthright, lactation consultants from the surrounding area and breastfeeding moms.