New Beginnings Baby Café Expanded to Thursday Afternoons

Posted: 2/22/2017

Mother LeAnn Hansen-Conn places her three-week old baby boy, Jackson, on a scale at New Beginnings Baby Café to weigh him with the assistance of IBCLC Lactation Consultants Aleycia Gerlach, left, and Charlotte Bachman, right. Brookings Health System recently expanded Baby Café hours to Thursday afternoons in order to better support mothers and help them successfully breastfeed their infants.Brookings Health System recently added a Thursday afternoon meeting time for New Beginnings Baby Café, the free, drop-in breastfeeding support session for nursing and expecting mothers.

In addition to meeting on Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m., IBCLC Lactation Consultants and Registered Nurses Aleycia Gerlach and Charlotte Bachman will also be available on Thursdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Both sessions are now held in the new family lounge on the OB unit at Brookings Hospital.

“We received feedback from mothers that Tuesday evening didn’t always work well in their schedules,” said Obstetrics Director Mary Schwaegerl. “Moms asked us to add daytime hours. With our new OB unit, we now have the room to accommodate a daytime session so we can better support mothers to successfully breastfeed their babies.”

New Beginnings Baby Café supports breastfeeding mothers in every aspect of nursing, from starting to weaning and every variation in between. It also allows mothers to receive free one-on-one help from lactation consultants.

Mothers who attend Baby Café have the opportunity to weigh-feed-weigh their babies to measure how much their infants drink in one feeding. 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.

New Beginning Baby Café is currently the only Baby Café session in South Dakota registered with Baby Café USA. 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, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga, South Dakota. 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