Montgomery, Ala. – The Wellness Coalition (TWC) is launching pop-up Baby Cafés this August to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, particularly in African American communities, in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.

“Breastfeeding is an essential aspect of maternal care, providing nourishment and a connection between mother and child,” said Belkys Gomez, REACH program coordinator for The Wellness Coalition. “However, African American women often experience unique challenges when breastfeeding, stemming from a lack of representation and access to resources and support.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding disparities affecting minorities include:

  •  Fewer non-Hispanic black infants (69.4 percent) are ever breastfed compared with non-Hispanic white infants (85.9 percent) and Hispanic infants (84.6 percent).
  • Black infants are 21 percent less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants.
  • Mothers ages 20 to 29 years are less likely to ever breastfeed (80.4 percent) than mothers ages 30 years or older (85.3 percent).

Pop-Up Baby Cafés

The Wellness Coalition is hosting pop-up Baby Cafés with community partners to address breastfeeding disparities, help normalize breastfeeding, and provide mothers with personalized support.

Baby Cafés are free for every parent who needs support with chestfeeding services. Baby Café staff consists of approved breastfeeding counselors and access to a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. The team provides chestfeeding support from pregnancy to weaning and welcomes parents who exclusively pump, working parents, stay-at-home parents, and individuals from diverse cultures and lifestyles. Attendees also get the chance to connect with fellow moms, explore their rights regarding breastfeeding or pumping at work, and learn about the field of lactation consulting.

 Upcoming Baby Café Events:

  • Tuesday, August 8, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, 426 Co Rd 13, Shorter, AL 36075
  • Tuesday, August 15, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at COPE Pregnancy Center, 2158 Madison Ave, Montgomery, AL 36107
  • Saturday, August 19, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Montgomery Hispanic SDA Church, 2515 Woodley Rd, Montgomery, AL 36111
  • Thursday, August 24, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Mobile Heights Baptist Church, 2012 Mobile Rd, Montgomery, AL 36108

More dates to be added at In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, TWC will also:

  • Place life-size cutouts of local moms breastfeeding their babies in locations throughout the River Region. Images of these moms will also be featured on local billboards, social media, and newspaper advertisements throughout the month of August.
  • Host a free online breastfeeding summit on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event will cover postpartum mood disorders, breastfeeding rights, latching, returning to work while breastfeeding, and COVID-19 and breastfeeding. The virtual summit is ideal for moms, moms-to-be, support persons, lactation professionals, and anyone who wants to learn more about breastfeeding. Register at:

“Breastfeeding is a way of life. It is the most intimate, precious bonding time you will ever get with your child,” said Eunisha Shephard, a breastfeeding mother in Montgomery. “Besides it being the healthiest form of food for my baby, it is also convenient and readily available. With a national shortage of food and recalls on formula, why wouldn’t you want to breastfeed? Our bodies were made for this, so I hope people can stop acting weird when they see a mother nursing her child in public.”

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

It is well established that breastfeeding is beneficial for the mother and baby. Babies who breastfeed have a lower risk of:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Eczema (a skin disease)
  • Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting)
  • Infections (ear, respiratory)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants
  • Obesity
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Mothers who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of:

  • Breast and ovarian cancers
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • High blood pressure

“Breastfeeding is one of the most important choices a mother can make for her baby’s health,” said Gomez, “We hope that by providing resources, highlighting local moms who choose to breastfeed, and offering a safe space for chestfeeding, we can continue normalizing breastfeeding in our community.”


The Wellness Coalition provides no-cost coaching, education, and other services for River Region residents to manage and prevent chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, obesity, and more. To learn more, visit or call (334) 293-6502.

Article submitted by The Wellness Coalition.

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine, LLC. Copyright 2023. 


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