Brookings Health System Launches New Beginnings Baby Café

Posted: 9/14/2015

Grand Opening Celebration Set for Oct. 8

New Beginnings Baby Café provides free, weekly breastfeeding support for nursing and expecting mothers. Moms, babies and IBCLC lactation consultants gather every Tuesday night from 6 to 8 p.m. The community is invited to learn more about Baby Café at the grand opening celebration on Thursday, Oct. 8 at the Outreach Specialty Clinic.Brookings Health System recently launched New Beginnings Baby Café, a free, weekly drop-in breastfeeding support session for nursing and expecting mothers. It is currently the only Baby Café session in South Dakota registered with Baby Café USA.

“Evidenced-based research indicates breast milk is the best infant nutrition. Research also indicates moms need support to successfully breastfeed,” said Obstetrics Director Mary Schwaegerl. “We established New Beginnings Baby Café in order to help moms continue breastfeeding after leaving the hospital.”

A soft launch for New Beginning Baby Café happened over the summer months in order to train staff. Sessions are held every Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Outreach Specialty Clinic, located on the east side of the hospital. IBCLC Lactation Consultants and Registered Nurses Aleycia Gerlach and Charlotte Bachman facilitate the group and offer one-on-one help to moms.

“We’ve seen a variety of issues that we’ve been able to help with,” said Gerlach. “From helping new moms with a proper latch to figuring out if a baby is tongue-tied to helping adoptive moms nurse. We even helped one mom’s high-metabolism one-year-old gain weight by adding the right solid foods.”

Mothers are encouraged to weigh-feed-weigh their babies to ensure their infants drink enough milk. In addition, Gerlach and Bachmann record the babies’ weights to chart growth. Because the group is free to all pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, moms can also talk with other moms.

All community members are invited to attend the grand opening celebration for New Beginnings Baby Café on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Outreach Specialty Clinic. Gerlach, Bachmann and Schwaegerl will be on-hand to answer questions and explain the benefits New Beginnings Baby Café offers to breastfeeding mothers.

More information about New Beginnings Baby Café and Brookings Health System’s OB unit can be found at

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic, Arlington Medical Center, White Medical Clinic and Volga Medical Clinic. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgical and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at