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Baby cafe opens with a bang

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:00 01 August 2010

THERE was a great turnout at the Children's Centre in Castle Hill, Beccles, on Monday for the opening of the town's first baby café.

The Butterflies Baby Café is the 18th to have opened in the east of England, and is part of a joint venture between NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney's breastfeeding team, children's centres, midwives at James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and local health visitors.

THERE was a great turnout at the Children's Centre in Castle Hill, Beccles, on Monday for the opening of the town's first baby café.

The Butterflies Baby Café is the 18th to have opened in the east of England, and is part of a joint venture between NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney's breastfeeding team, children's centres, midwives at James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and local health visitors.

It is a free drop-in centre that provides support in a relaxed, café-style environment for breastfeeding mums and expectant mums who are interested in breastfeeding.

Margaret Holtz, breastfeeding team lead with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, was at the café on Monday. She said: “It's been really good. I expected three or four women but we've already got 12, and lots of little ones as well. If it keeps going this well we're going to need a bigger place!”

She added that she would like to encourage more men to visit.

Local woman Sam Oddy, 34, was the first through the doors with her five month old baby Bailey. She said: “I think it's good that we can have somewhere and sit comfortably. These days people are quite accepting about breastfeeding in public, but you still get the odd place where you get a funny look. It's nice to be able to come here and have a chat in a nice relaxed atmosphere.”

Ms Holtz: “Feedback we've had from mothers using our other baby cafés has been very positive, with many appreciating the expert help and advice on offer.

“The cafés also give women the chance to meet others in a similar situation so they can share experiences and help each other over difficult periods.

“Research into the health benefits of choosing breast over formula milk shows that breastfed babies are less likely to become overweight or obese or suffer from allergies, infections, asthma and eczema.

“They are also at lower risk of cot death, and mums are less likely to get cancer or brittle bones later in life, and find it easier to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.

“We hope that lots of new mums and mums-to-be will come along with their partners to take advantage of this free service and find out how they can help their baby have the best possible start in life.”

The Butterflies Baby Café is open every Monday between 10am and noon. Anyone is welcome to drop in, or can contact the breastfeeding team on 01493 852209 to find out more.

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