What new mother couldn’t use extra loving support?
A National Effort Our Loving Support Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) effort to promote and support breastfeeding through peer counseling in addition to core WIC services.
Special USDA funds allow us to select participants at three of our 11 WIC centers and provide them with additional breastfeeding support services. The blueprint for these services draws from a national body of research on effective ways to promote and support breastfeeding with families and in the community.
More Extensive Support Participants involved in this model program receive services from a ”personal peer counselor,” someone we call a Loving Support Peer
Counselor, throughout pregnancy and for as long as six months after having given birth.
All our WIC mothers are offered a broad range of breastfeeding education and support opportunities: prenatal education groups, breastfeeding support groups, individual in-person education and support, and the enhanced WIC food package for fully breastfeeding mothers.
In addition to these, Loving Support participants receive more personalized and extensive support throughout pregnancy and during the first six months after giving birth, while they are breastfeeding. Our objective is to help each mother learn about breastfeeding early on, and feel confident about it when she is ready to deliver her baby and after the birth.
A Loving Support participant receives her first phone call from her personal peer counselor early in pregnancy. The two continue their discussions by phone throughout her pregnancy and as long as six months after she has given birth. The mother also receives repeated opportunities to meet her Loving Support peer counselor in person during breastfeeding support groups held at her WIC center. We provide early and frequent support, responding to the mother’s questions and concerns as soon and as frequently as they arise.