Mothers from the community who have extensive personal breastfeeding experience and training are uniquely able to connect with our WIC mothers and support them in breastfeeding.

Mothers Helping Mothers Breastfeeding peer counselors provide individualized education and support to breastfeeding mothers at all our WIC centers when complex questions or concerns arise. The counselors refer mothers to our agency’s breastfeeding experts, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), when further assistance is needed.

The breastfeeding peer counselors facilitate support groups, which are available to all breastfeeding mothers. They staff our Breastfeeding Help Line and provide additional support to select participants through our Loving Support Program.

Loving Support Our Loving Support Peer Counseling Program is part of a national effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA’s intent is to enhance the WIC Program’s core breastfeeding services by more intensively promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

In addition to the broad range of breastfeeding education opportunities available to all mothers, participants in the Loving Support Program receive extra and ongoing support throughout pregnancy and through 6 months postpartum by telephone and in person.

In Addition Our peer counselors also:
• facilitate breastfeeding support groups
• staff the Breastfeeding Helpline
• phone newly enrolled breastfeeding mothers
• reach out to newly enrolled breastfeeding mothers
• provide support to mothers with premature or sick infants
• help mothers borrow electric breast pumps
• serve as ongoing resources for our staff

A Brief History Mother-to-mother support is not new to our WIC program. We initiated our breastfeeding peer counselor program in 1991, with training and guidance from La Leche League International.

In 2004 the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the USDA launched the Loving Support model of breastfeeding peer counseling nationwide, drawing from the growing body of evaluation data on successful peer counseling and breastfeeding support efforts.

In 2010 we transitioned our peer counseling services to the Loving Support model, which was completed by 2014.