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Northwell Health

Many of the moms, and their children, who attended Southside’s Baby Café ribbon cutting along with Southside Hospital’s ob/gyn team and leadership.
The opening of the first Baby Café in downstate New York at Southside Hospital was marked by 30 moms – and their children – who have attended the hospital’s weekly breastfeeding support group.

Baby Cafés are free resources for pregnant or breastfeeding women to learn about this process and share their experiences with other moms. They are also places where women can receive help from a certified lactation consultant, such a Southside’s Wendi Andria, IBCLC. Ms. Andria spearheaded and has been running a free weekly breastfeeding support group at Southside for a few years and has helped many women reach their personal breastfeeding goals.

“When you’re a scared mom just trying to make sure you’re feeding your baby appropriately, having a place to turn where you can learn from a lactation consultant and swap tips with other moms is incredibly helpful,” said Ms. Andria. “It’s been such a rewarding experience helping moms through their breastfeeding journey via the support group and I look forward to helping more now that we are a Baby Café.”

The designation Baby Café comes from the non-profit group Baby Café USA and was made possible with the help of a five-year, $1 million grant from Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Henry Bernstein, DO, professor of pediatrics at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, is the principal investigator of the breastfeeding promotion grant that Cohen’s received from the New York State Department of Health.

Amy Dekeris, of Smithtown, a soon-to-be mom of three girls, said the breastfeeding support group became a great resource for her when her first daughter was five weeks old. “I’ve learned that with each baby there’s a new latch,” she said. “and I’m looking forward to learning the new latch with my youngest daughter and the help of the breastfeeding support group.”

For more information about Southside Hospital’s Baby Café and breastfeeding support group, contact Ms. Andria at 631-968-3311 or email

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