When a pregnant woman arrives at a WIC center, or a current participant becomes pregnant, our WIC nutrition educators and breastfeeding peer counselors begin an ongoing conversation with her about breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Priority We prioritize breastfeeding education because it enhances health and wellbeing across the lifespan and can narrow the health disparities experienced by the low-income, predominantly Latina and African American participants we serve.
One-on-One Mothers meet individually with a WIC educator every trimester throughout the pregnancy and again after the baby is born. This provides her several opportunities to ask questions and discuss concerns. Breastfeeding peer counselors are available for extra support as needed. By tailoring their discussions they assist each mother to become confident that she can breastfeed her baby for as long as she and her baby wish to continue.
Parent Groups Parent groups for expectant and new mothers enable women to learn about breastfeeding and benefit from the support of their peers.
Topics such as the health benefits for both mother and baby, tips on how to get started and suggestions about positioning help mothers gain confidence. Our educators and counselors also help mothers understand the normal crying and sleeping patterns of newborns, often misunderstood to be problems associated with breastfeeding.
Parent groups on breastfeeding are scheduled throughout the month at each WIC center.
Our Philosophy We meet mothers where they are. Is breastfeeding a new idea for this expectant mother? Does she have any worries about breastfeeding that need to be resolved before she can envision herself nursing her baby? Is she hungry for the all the “how to’s” she can get? Is she experiencing a breastfeeding difficulty? Our trained educators and counselors ask questions, listen and tailor the information to suit each mother’s needs.
We strive to help mothers make informed decisions about how they will feed their babies. And we support the mother, whatever her decision.
Education-To-Go We provide mothers with informative, easily readable, bilingual written educational material to reinforce and expand upon the individual session or parent group. We encourage mothers to share the materials with the family members who support them at home.
Our Caring and Competent Staff We place a high premium on a well-trained staff who can provide the information and support mothers need. While many staff members are or were breastfeeding mothers themselves, the strength of the education and support we provide comes from the evidence-based training all educators and counselors receive.
Our paraprofessional staff receive 40 hours of initial breastfeeding training, while our lactation consultants have taken part in an intensive year-long program to acquire their credentials. Continuing education is part of our culture.