1Breastfeeding: A WIC Priority Improves health outcomes for infantsFewer infections and diseaseImproved IQLower rates of obesity and diabetesImproves health outcomes for mothersFaster recovery from pregnancyLower risk of breast cancerReduces health care costs
2MN WIC Breastfeeding Rates 2005 Data on this page are from MN WIC Program Summary Statistics Supplemental Report – Breastfeeding. Report Month December 2005.Breastfeeding rates by subgroup: All (Children 14 – 24 mo of age). Note that this report only includes records if the duration data has been completed, so likely under-reports the 6 mo and 12 mo duration.To get more complete data for your agency enter a date past the first birthday if the I/C participant breastfed longer than a year and make sure the duration data is completed for all I / C participants.To add your local data after you have downloaded a copy of the PowerPoint:Right click on the graph.Select “chart object,” then “edit”A small Excel spreadsheet will appear.Change “local agency” to your agency name.Enter the data.Close the spreadsheet.
3Peer Counseling Makes A Difference! Improves initiation and duration rates among women in:Disadvantaged populationsVaried cultural groupsUrban and rural settingsPeer counseling has been used effectively in many WIC State and local agencies across the U.S.
4Who Are Peer Counselors? Experienced breastfeeding mothersIdeally a current or previous WIC clientIdeally from the same population group as that served by WICEnthusiastic about breastfeeding, and helping other mothers enjoy a positive experienceProvide basic breastfeeding information and support to WIC mothers
5The Power Of Mother-To-Mother Connections “That’s what it’s all about…moms helping moms.WIC Peer Counselor
6How Peer Counselors Help Serve as a model for breastfeedingEstablish a connection with the familyHelp mothers prevent and manage common concerns with breastfeedingProvide ongoing encouragement to help mother meet her breastfeeding goalsLink to breastfeeding help beyond the usual 8-to-5 servicesFill the gap in services immediately after hospital discharge for seamless continuity of care
7WIC Healthcare TeamAs part of the WIC healthcare team, peer counselors:Free up staff time by taking time to help mothers explore and address barriers and concernsMake referrals to WIC staff if mother has questions or concerns outside her scopePromote WIC with participants and family members, encouraging participationProvide information for WIC team that affect health and nutritional status of client and her children
8USDA’s Vision For Peer Counseling Institutionalize peer counseling as a core service in WICProvide leadership and resources to equip State and local WIC agencies with implementing peer counseling programsTwo training curricula for WIC agencies“Using Loving Support to Manage Peer Counseling Programs”“Loving Support Through Peer Counseling”
9Basic Job Responsibilities For Peer Counselors Accept referrals of pregnant and breastfeeding WIC clients for follow-upContact women at critical intervalsMonthly during pregnancyFrequently during early days of breastfeedingMonthly as long as baby is breastfeedingBe available to mothers beyond usual WIC clinic hoursDocument all contacts with mothersMake referrals of women with concerns
10Job Settings Telephone calls from home and the clinic Clinic visits Home visitsHospital visits
11Peer Counselors Are Well Trained! Attend formal series of breastfeeding classesPersonal studyObserve/shadow a lactation professional (such as an IBCLC or senior peer counselor)Observe WIC nutritionistOngoing training
12CompensationPaid hourly for all contacts made with WIC participants, including documentationWill complete weekly activity reports and submit to supervisor
13Supervision Peer counselors will: Be supervised by local agency coordinatorReceive weekly contacts from supervisorAttend monthly staff meetingsComplete contact logsHave work spot checked
14A Little Understanding Goes A Long Way! This may be the peer counselor’s first jobMentor her by modeling professionalismAs a WIC participant herself, her life has similar stresses to other WIC clientsLoneliness and stress of listening to other people’s problems can lead to burnoutBringing her nursing baby to the clinic helps model breastfeeding for other WIC mothersAlthough she may “come and go” to the clinic, she is on call to handle emergency breastfeeding situations
15How You Can Support Peer Counselors Tell her she’s a valued member of the WIC team!Assist in recruiting qualified peer counselorsProvide referrals of pregnant and breastfeeding WIC clientsInclude peer counselors in WIC clinic meetings and activitiesReinforce her education to WIC mothers with consistent, accurate breastfeeding information
16Create A Breastfeeding-Friendly Environment In The WIC Clinic Stay up to date with your own breastfeeding knowledgeEnsure the WIC clinic provides positive messages of Loving Support for breastfeedingActively promote the peer counseling program with WIC participants
17“One of the most important things we can do is to nurture and support our peer counselors. We find that the more we do to encourage and support them, the better they are at working with WIC moms.”WIC Staff Member
18Peer Counseling: Making A Difference For WIC Families!