Nearly thee dozen local moms and their children headed to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore last week to help mark the start of Long Island’s first Baby Café.

Through the café, breastfeeding moms can access free resources and share their experiences with other moms,while receiving help from certified lactation consultants and more.

The designation Baby Café comes through the nonprofit 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.

The moms who headed to Bay Shore last week to celebrate had been attending Southside’s weekly breastfeeding support group. Among them was Amy Dekeris of Smithtown, who will soon give birth to her third girl.

“I’ve learned that with each baby there’s a new latch,” Dekeris said. “And I’m looking forward to learning the new latch with my youngest daughter and the help of the breastfeeding support group.”

The support group has been run by certified lactation consultant Wendi Andria, who spearheaded the weekly initiative at Southside years back and has helped many women reach their personal breastfeeding goals, according to the hospital.

“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.” said Andria.

Henry Bernstein, 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, officials said.

Andria said support meetings and programs such as Baby Café can help be a big relief for nervous moms just looking to feed their babies.


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