Baby Cafe Local - an alternative to cuts

Released on: 25 May 2011

In the challenging economic climate many areas on tight budgets will struggle to provide high quality support services for babies and parents. Today, 6th May the first of a new solution opens its doors to mums.

Baby Café Local – run by health practitioners or breastfeeding counsellors with help from breastfeeding peer supporters will provide essential support for mothers in the early months of life with a new baby. This has been facilitated by the merger of The Baby Café Charitable Trust and NCT - the UK’s largest parent’s charity - to help even more mums who want to breastfeed. The Baby Café breastfeeding drop-ins will join the wide range of NCT services to help parents in every corner of the UK. Baby Café can now maximise and extend The Baby Café model which combines breastfeeding information with a relaxed environment where mums can chat and learn about breastfeeding from qualified practitioners and each other.

The new addition to the Baby Café and NCT service range differs from the original Baby Café drop-in model as it will not always require an NHS employee to run sessions.  Breastfeeding counsellors will be able to host sessions with funding from local health and children’s services providing an essential support service to mothers without the need to call on overstretched staff in maternity and children’s services.  Baby Café Local is a lower cost solution to providing high quality support and information – meeting the needs of local mothers and the aims of local services.    

Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive, NCT, says; “Joining with The Baby Café is a fantastic opportunity - both charities share the same desire to help mums, since we know that many struggle to get the support they need and stop breastfeeding before they want to.”

“For almost 55 years, NCT has been helping mums with their feeding decisions. NCT will strengthen The Baby Café so we can build a centre in every community across the UK and Baby Café Local will support more mums than ever before.”

NCT provides support to parents when they need it most. With over 100 drop-ins around the UK, Baby Café supports up to 12,000 mums a year. They are open to all - mothers, partners, supporters - and take place once a week in children’s centres or community venues.

Bernadine Burnell, Chair of Trustees, The Baby Café; says; “We’re delighted to be able to join together with NCT and embed Baby Café Local into the mainstream service.  Baby Café’s appeal to mums across the board and together the two charities will be able to make more of a difference in supporting mums who want to breastfeed.”