Local mothers and families are celebrating the grand opening of a baby café in Genesee County.
The café provides breastfeeding support to moms and their infants.
Research shows breastfeeding is beneficial for both mom and baby, but there is a significant lag in the Flint area.
"It's just super helpful," said Kristine Riley, new mom.
Help comes in handy when you're a new mom. Especially when dealing with a precious new born baby who struggles with breastfeeding.
On Thursday, April 26, Riley attended the grand opening of the Baby Café. It's a place where moms meet to get breastfeeding support.
"This is the perfect place to go. Since she was born early we had latching issues. And this was the best encouragement," Riley said.
It's a place where Riley can meet people like Shonte Terhune, a lactation specialist with the Genesee County Health Department.
Riley's daughter is latching and breastfeeding after just one session.
Terhune said people don't realize how easy it can be.
"It has that stigma of something being so difficult to do, but it's really natural and it's what our bodies are made to do," Terhune said.
The free Genesee County café is open inside the MSU Extension Building in Flint.
Terhune encourages every mother to give it a shot.
"Just educate yourself. Make sure to have good support around you. That'll make it a much easier process," Terhune said.
Specialists at the café said breastfeeding is best for mothers and babies because it decreases postpartum depression, osteoporosis, type two diabetes and breast cancer.
When it comes to issues arising from the Flint water crisis, Latashia Perry – program director – said it can help with that too.
"Some of the moms may be making formula with the water. While breastfeeding would kind of counteract some of the effects of the lead water with the babies," Perry said.
Perry said breastfeeding is best for babies because it decreases their risk of getting sick.
Riley said she is thankful she reached out for help.
"There's people that will help you. There are programs. So, you're never alone," Riley said.
The Baby Café is open every Thursday at 10 a.m.