A Microcosting Study of Establishing a Baby Café® in Texas

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Background:This article focuses on the costs of opening and running a Baby Café. A Baby Café is an intervention that focuses on providing peer-to-peer support for breastfeeding mothers.Research aim:This study aimed to estimate the costs of establishing and running a Baby Café.Methods:The authors used a microcosting approach to identifying costs using the case of a Baby Café located in San Antonio, Texas, and modeled after other existing cafés in the United States. They also used extensive literature review and conducted an informal interview with a manager of an existing Baby Café in the United States to validate our cost data. The cost analysis was done from the provider perspective.Results:Costs of starting a Baby Café were $36,000, whereas annual operating costs totaled $47,000. Total discounted costs for a 5-year period amounted to $250,000, resulting in a cost per Baby Café session of $521 and cost per mother of $104. Varying the number of sessions per week and number of mothers attending each session, the discounted cost per Baby Café session ranged between $460 and $740 and the cost per mother varied between $65 and $246.Conclusion:These findings can be used by policy makers and organizations to evaluate local resource requirements for starting a Baby Café. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention against other breastfeeding promoting initiatives.

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