ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new café is opening in Albany, but this time, it allows pregnant and nursing moms to get together and share techniques they have learned as a new parent.

Saint Peter’s Health Partners held a grand opening of a new Baby Café in the Albany Housing Authority Building. Located at 200 South Pearl St., the area acts as a central place for parents to walk or take public transportation.

“We had a presence in Albany, but with COVID, we were shut down for a while, so now we’re in a new location,” lactation consultant Stephanie Avienu said.

From 2020 until most of 2022, Baby Cafés were running virtually due to the pandemic. The new café is one of five available in the Capital Region, a sixth being virtual-only through St. Peter’s Hospital. Free of charge, consultants such as Avienu and parents share advice and techniques on ways to aid in breastfeeding.

“The biggest question or concern you’d have is often going to be surrounding ‘Is my baby latching properly?’ So mom might be experiencing some pain,” Avienu explained. “Another big question that parents would have would be ‘Is my baby getting enough milk? How do I know if my child is getting enough milk?'”

Recent problems surrounding being able to purchase baby formula are all the more reason to be aware of the process and perks of breastfeeding.

“Almost an increase in anxiety of ‘If I can’t, if I can’t get this breastfeeding thing figured out, am I even going to be able to get formula’ because we are dealing with that kind of the supply chain crises,” Avienu said. “There’s a reduction in certain kinds of cancers for the child as they get older. There’s elements in breast milk that actually kill off cancer cells, which is actually one of the coolest things things that you can hear. It literally makes cancer cells explode.”

The Baby Café is open to all pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, partners, and siblings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays.

The other physical sites are located at the Mechanicville Public Library, the Mont Pleasant Branch Library and Phyllis Bornt Branch Library and Literacy Center in Schenectady, and at Samaritan Hospital—St. Mary’s Campus in Troy.