Milk & More: A Breastfeeding Class from Baby Café Bakersfield

Milk & More: A Breastfeeding Class from Baby Café Bakersfield

We’ve designed this class to help you find and name your own feeding goals, set yourself up with the information you need, and create that network of help that will back you up when you need it.   

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Baby Café Is Preparing for World Breastfeeding Week 2017!

Did you know that World Breastfeeding Week begins this Tuesday, August 1? We've been getting ready for months!

Baby Café Bakersfield works every day to ensure that Kern County families have access to the breastfeeding support and clinical lactation care they need to meet their own breastfeeding goals.
— Christine Staricka, Baby Café Bakersfield

What does this mean for the community? Well, World Breastfeeding Week happens every year during the first week of August.  It means you'll see an increased amount of communication around breastfeeding.  You'll notice that there will be events to celebrate and promote breastfeeding.  You'll find articles in the newspaper, posts on social media, and a general sense that a lot of people are talking about breastfeeding! 

Why does the breastfeeding community do this? Like many other public health issues, advocacy efforts for breastfeeding are highlighted during this period of increased awareness.  This helps to increase the amount of people hearing the messages about the importance of breastfeeding, the key points to consider regarding how best to support it on a cultural or community level, and the calls to action to continue and amplify efforts to ensure that families get what they need to make it work for them.


 Baby Café Bakersfield is a licensed location of Baby Café USA, a national organization   

Baby Café Bakersfield is a licensed location of Baby Café USA, a national organization


Because we are working every day to make sure that local families have access to the care they need, we'll be even busier this week.  We have been planning events like the Mothers' Milk Drive on August 11, special celebrations at all Baby Café drop-ins this week, and media contact about breastfeeding.  

This year's theme, Sustaining Breastfeeding Together, is a really important way to think about breastfeeding.  The sub-theme is "Nobody Breastfeeds Alone."  That speaks so clearly to the way we see it at Baby Café Bakersfield.  We facilitate group support of nursing and pumping moms so they can help each other feel more capable AND less isolated.  We facilitate clinical lactation care by IBCLCs in cases where it is needed.  We do outreach within the community to connect the people and organizations who provide care with the families who need it.  We represent the interests of the breastfeeding family at all times.  

What can you do to help "pump up the volume about breastfeeding?" You can share supportive social media posts, follow our pages and accounts for encouraging messages, and you can talk about breastfeeding with people you know.  Whenever you hear a conversation about breastfeeding, wherever you are, please remember that your voice matters in that conversation.  Don't let people talk about it without hearing from the people who are doing it and the people who have done it.  Raise your voice, raise your concerns, raise your hand to say "I did it and here's why it matters to me!"  Join the conversation and help us Sustain Breastfeeding Together!

Breastfeeding is important. It matters to the health of a mother and her baby. Don’t be confused: there aren’t any benefits to breastfeeding. It’s just the way mammals were made, and the better our society supports breastfeeding families, the more optimal health we will see as a population.
— Christine Staricka, BS, IBCLC, RLC, CCE - Facilitator, Baby Café Bakersfield

Registration is Now Open for Birth & Babies July 2017!

Families are now welcome to register for the Birth & Babies series.  In July, this 4-class series will support families who are expecting a baby to prepare for birth and breastfeeding.  (Future series will consist of 6 classes in total.)  This series is being brought to you as a project of Central Valley Lactation Association (CVLA), which also hosts Baby Café Bakersfield.  

This series will be held on Monday evenings from 6-8pm.  Taught by certified childbirth educators and IBCLCs, the series has been uniquely designed to help families learn about evidence-based birth and breastfeeding so that they can make informed choices.  Families are encouraged to register for a series that is completed at least 3 weeks before their expected due date.  It is preferable to complete the series early in the third trimester.  

If you have concerns about completing the series prior to your baby's birth, please use the Contact Us function.  Arrangements can be made for you to attend a partial set of classes.  

Details about the July series and registration for July, as well as scheduled dates for future series, can be found under "Classes" here on the website.  Our instructors look forward to welcoming families and forging connections that benefit the health of families in our community!

From Your Friends at Baby Café Bakersfield, A Brand-New Program!

We love our community, and our community of families has shown us how much they appreciate what we offer in breastfeeding support.  With that in mind, when we heard that local families are facing difficulty finding childbirth education classes in town, we just couldn't let that go. 

Informed parents have better births.  It's really very simple: the more information you have before you are in labor, the more you will feel in control of your birth process.  That's what childbirth education provides, and it's a gift that couples can give themselves while they await the birth of their new child.  

We are proud to announce the birth of Baby Café Bakersfield's Birth & Babies Series, a multi-session, in-person course to prepare for childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care.  Taught by certified childbirth educators and IBCLCs, this course will provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and time-tested strategies for understanding the birth process, defining your vision for your baby's birth day, communicating with your caregivers, making informed feeding choices, and responsive newborn care.  We'll help you identify your support network to help you navigate the first weeks of your baby's life, and we'll be there to greet you at Baby Café and provide the loving support you need to meet your own breastfeeding goals.   

Here are the facts: 

- the full course will be comprised of 6 sessions, where the first 4 cover childbirth preparation, the 5th is designed to help you navigate the parts of breastfeeding that may surprise you, and the 6th will provide a background in basic newborn care and what to expect as the parent of a new baby in the first weeks

- the course has been designed by and will always be taught by independent instructors who are certified by the Academy of Childbirth Educators, International Childbirth Educators Association, The Bradley Method, Lamaze International, or other certifying bodies to teach childbirth preparation classes

- there will also be a separate breastfeeding class once per month, also taught by a trained lactation educator OR an IBCLC

- pregnant women and their partners will be welcome to attend, regardless of where they plan to deliver

- dates of classes will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page, and registration will be simple and available online

Meeting the specific needs of our community has always been a priority at Baby Café Bakersfield.  It is the very reason we exist.  Research shows that prenatal education about childbirth and infant feeding results in improved health outcomes for mothers and babies. We take the health of families in our community very seriously.   We look forward to serving families in this new way and welcome your comments, suggestions, and support! 

- Baby Café Staff

June 27, 2017


Baby Café Bakersfield Receives Prestigious IBCLC® Care Award

Baby Café Bakersfield Receives Prestigious IBCLC® Care Award

Baby Café Bakersfield has been awarded the prestigious IBCLC® Care Award for 2017-2019, denoting that they have demonstrated they have provided training for their staff that care for breastfeeding families, and have implemented special projects that promote, protect, and support breastfeeding and the lactation consultant profession.

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Giving to Baby Cafe on GiveBigKern Day - May 2, 2017!

So what's all the fuss about Give Big Kern? You may wonder why you've seen so much from us about this event.  This one day, online giving event is our biggest opportunity this year to raise funds for Baby Cafe Bakersfield.   

As you may know, our services are provided to families for free, our staff is all volunteer, and we operate using only in-kind donations.  We do not have funding from anyone.  We are an independent project which is managed by Central Valley Lactation Association, part of Warm Line La Cresta.   

What we do is very effective.  Baby Cafe Bakersfield has helped hundreds of families each year since 2014.  With additional financial resources, we can do even more!  We'd love to have a paid staff member to do marketing and outreach, open our doors for more hours and accommodate more families, buy a printer to print out resources for families when they are there.  We have ongoing operating costs to cover, like rent for our space and supplies for our drop-ins.  We could offer prenatal classes to local families to help them prepare for breastfeeding while they're still pregnant.   

There's so much more work to do in supporting breastfeeding families, and we hope you will give generously during Give Big Kern to help us expand our services and improve the breastfeeding environment in Kern County! 



We're SO Excited to be part of Give Big Kern this May 2!

On May 2, you can give back to Baby Café Bakersfield during Give Big Kern!
On May 2, you can join together with all of the Kern County community for Give Big Kern, an online giving event!  You will have the opportunity to give to the organizations that mean something to you - like Baby Café Bakersfield!  
Every donation, no matter the amount, means that we can continue to provide excellent breastfeeding care to local families.  We hope you will share this email and encourage everyone you know to make a donation on the big day - May 2 - to support our organization.  We'll also have plenty of posts on social media that you can share - see our Facebook page starting today!

Baby Café Bakersfield: 3 Years and Counting!

3 years ago, we welcomed the first families into Baby Café Bakersfield.  Our goal was to provide the breastfeeding help that families need in a different kind of setting than what already existed in our community.  We could never have imagined the warm reception we have received, and we are awed and amazed by the depth of gratitude our families express.  

By creating spaces where people can sit comfortably and relax, by offering snacks and beverages, by maintaining an atmosphere of safety and support, we have created a destination for new families.  In 3 years, we've had a couple of location changes, but wherever we go, we keep the standards the same and the families just follow.  

We've grown our core group of volunteers by offering the opportunity for lactation educators to gain experience and be mentored by IBCLCs.  We've welcomed Rn-to-BSN students in to make short presentations to our families on public health and pediatric topics.  We've had healthcare providers and lactation support providers from other settings visit, volunteer, and become part of our great big family.  We've hosted a Christmas Tea Party, we facilitate a private discussion group on Facebook for our families, and we've counted nearly 3000 visits in our 3 years.  

It's about the people here at Baby Café Bakersfield.  It's about how people are treated.  It's not our style to tell people what to do.  We offer evidence-based education so families can make truly informed choices about how they parent their babies and toddlers.  We teach, we counsel, we guide.  We don't persuade or convince or make decisions for anyone.  We offer hope and help.  Hope that breastfeeding can likely be continued, regardless of the obstacle a family faces.  Hope that things will get better, especially when challenges arise.  Help with the practical parts of learning how to nurse your baby.  Help navigating the healthcare system as a breastfeeding family.  Help adjusting to your new identity as a parent.  

This support is here for the families of our community, available for free, and easily accessible in central Bakersfield by private or public transportation.  We look forward to meeting many more families through our unique service and are proud to provide it!


Celebrating the breastfeeding you did...

We encourage you to celebrate the breastfeeding you did, the breastmilk you gave, and the mothering you do! There's no amount of breastfeeding that isn't important. We're here to help you meet your own breastfeeding goals.

Baby Café Bakersfield is a safe place to share your breastfeeding and parenting journey without fear of negativity.  At any meeting, you are likely to see any or all of the following: a baby at the breast, a baby bottle feeding, a mother preparing formula, a father soothing a crying baby, a grandmother reminiscing about her own breastfeeding experience (or lack thereof), a toddler throwing a tantrum, a mother crying, a mother telling her birth story, an IBCLC guiding a mother through how to do breast massage or hand expression, a mother telling another mother about how she feels today, a lactation educator listening to new parents talk about their experiences, conversation about starting solids, a discussion about safe infant sleep including safe bedsharing, a mother asking about how weaning happens, an IBCLC examining a baby's oral structures, a mother talking about pumping when she returns to her paid job, a toddler nursing, an exhausted mother, an exhilarated mother, a sad mom, a funny mom, a worried mom, a really young mom - really, there's no way to predict this.  The door is open.  Join us for whatever you need in breastfeeding support and friendship.   #babycafebakersfield #IBCLCcare #IBCLC 

 Courtesy of BFMamaTalk on Facebook

Courtesy of BFMamaTalk on Facebook

Let's Start with the Myths

People come to Baby Café Bakersfield all the time with stories of how they were told by their doctor to pump "to see how much milk the baby is getting."  

Here's the problem with that advice.  Pumping doesn't tell you how much milk the baby is getting.  Pumping tells you how much milk you were able to get out THIS time, using THIS pump.  Babies and pumps are not the same.  If your baby isn't transferring milk efficiently, your pump can't tell you that.  Pumping can be misleading and interfere in many ways with breastfeeding.  

We'll say it again: pumping does not give you any information that helps you to know how much milk your baby is getting.  

If you have received this advice from anyone, please do yourself and your baby a favor: come see us.  Talk to an IBCLC.  We can help you learn what you really need to know when you're breastfeeding.  We are IBCLCs: that's what we do.  We're specialists in human lactation.  We're trained to counsel and educate adults.  We're responsible to provide you with appropriate information to protect you, your baby, and your ability to breastfeed.  

Pumps have a purpose.  Their purpose is not to tell you how much milk your baby gets.   

Christine Staricka, BS, IBCLC, RLC, CCE

Introducing...our latest addition: A Baby Café Bakersfield website and blog!

Welcome!  After many, many requests over our 2.5 years, we are introducing our new website and blog today!  

We are thrilled to have a new way to let the community know about the services we provide and to communicate with our Baby Café families!

Please send us a message through our Contact link to let us know what you think!  We'd like to hear what you would like to see on the website, what information a new parent who had never heard of Baby Café would need to see on here, and anything else you think would improve our website!

We're seeking a sponsor for our website!  If you or someone you know is interested, you can sponsor our website for just $12 for a month.  You will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation through our fiscal agent, WarmLine/LaCresta Foundation.  UPDATE: We have a sponsor!  Watch for our Sponsors page - it's under construction!