“Breastfeeding Is A Public Health Issue” : Meet Shetara and Sneha Rao From The South End Community Health Center Baby Cafe.
Shetara Smith supports breastfeeding mothers as a peer counselor at the South End Community Health Center Baby Café. Shetara explains, “although it’s in a clinical setting, it is not clinical at all.” She refers to the Baby Cafe as a place where “you are not judged.” She believes mothers will find women there like themselves having similar issues. Shetara wants parents to “feel comfortable and at ease” as they share their concerns and ask questions about their breastfeeding journey.
Some fears moms may have include…
How am I going to feed the baby?
Am I going to have enough milk?
Is it going to hurt?
At South End’s Baby Café, parents can have their child weighed to see how much breastmilk they are actually consuming. The ultimate goal of the Baby Cafe is to encourage and support mothers on their breastfeeding journey for as long as the mom wants to. Shetara believes supporting families with breastfeeding is important because “it is a public health issue and if every baby was breastfed, a lot of our diseases would probably be eradicated, if not lessened.”
Sneha Rao, CLC, PNP, works alongside Shetara, serving as the director of the South End Community Health Center Baby Café. Sneha describes the Baby Café as a program that “offers a valuable, necessary service at no cost.” Mothers who attend the drop-in support groups get free expert advice from professionals.
In response to why a mom should come, Sneha says, “The first few weeks after having a baby are really challenging. It’s really helpful to get the hands on support.”Sneha also emphasizes the importance of community, especially for new mothers who may experience isolation and not being able to get out of the house easily.
If you are interested in meeting Sneha, Shetara and other families in the South End area, visit …
South End Community Health Center Baby Café
1601 Washington Street, Boston
Glass Top Conference Room
10:00am - 12:00pm
Sneha Rao PNP, CLC
Or visit http://bostonbreastfeeding.weebly.com/find-a-bbc-group.html to find a Baby Cafe near you.
About the interviewer:
Dominique is a Boston resident, breastfeeding supporter and blogger behind DommiesBlessed.
Daily Milk hosts articles, posts and ideas from various members of our breastfeeding coalition!