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Breastfeeding support group launches for Flagler County moms, dads

Before Baby Cafe launched, mothers in Flagler County would have to go to St. Johns or Volusia counties for lactation help.

BUNNELL, Fla. — Mom’s in Flagler County had to travel up to 30 minutes outside of their county to get any kind of lactation support. Now, the Women, Infants and Children program at the Flagler County Department of Health has launched a breastfeeding support group called Baby Café.

Felicia Danielle has been going to Baby Café for the last few months.

"It’s hard enough being a mom, to not have to worry about offending somebody if your child gets hungry,” she said.

She found Baby Café through lactation counselor Belisia Velez, who is a lactation specialist at Women, Infants and Children.

“I think as a breastfeeding mother you're always actively seeking support,” Danielle said.

With limited resources for new moms in Flagler County, she was looking for local lactation support as she struggled to find other mothers facing the same breastfeeding frustrations.

“That community is very important when you choose to breastfeed I think,” Danielle said.

Lactation support is for mothers who need help with babies who won't latch on or who aren't able to produce enough milk along with other issues.

For women in Flagler County, the closest maternity wards are in St. Johns or Volusia counties.

The Women, Infant and Children’s program at Flagler’s Department of Health realized moms in Flagler County desperately needed help.

"Once you give birth and come back to your county and you’re like 'Alright, well, I kinda need help with lactation, where do I go, what do I do?'” Velez said.

The group of six moms who are already part of the program meet at Starbucks. The group aims to be all-inclusive.

“You don’t necessarily only have to only be breastfeeding to come," Velez said. "If you have to supplement that’s understandable, we’re there to support you. And if you’re pregnant and new to this we’re there to support you.”

Baby Café is open to the entire community looking for lactation support, whether you’re a new or a seasoned parent, with a newborn or toddler, for moms and dads.

The next Baby Café will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. Meetings are held at the Starbucks located on the corner of State Road 100 and Belle Terre Parkway in Palm Coast.