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Breastfeeding: A WIC Priority

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Presentation on theme: "Breastfeeding: A WIC Priority"— Presentation transcript:


1 Breastfeeding: A WIC Priority
Improves health outcomes for infants Fewer infections and disease Improved IQ Lower rates of obesity and diabetes Improves health outcomes for mothers Faster recovery from pregnancy Lower risk of breast cancer Reduces health care costs

2 MN 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.

3 Peer Counseling Makes A Difference!
Improves initiation and duration rates among women in: Disadvantaged populations Varied cultural groups Urban and rural settings Peer counseling has been used effectively in many WIC State and local agencies across the U.S.

4 Who Are Peer Counselors?
Experienced breastfeeding mothers Ideally a current or previous WIC client Ideally from the same population group as that served by WIC Enthusiastic about breastfeeding, and helping other mothers enjoy a positive experience Provide basic breastfeeding information and support to WIC mothers

5 The Power Of Mother-To-Mother Connections
“That’s what it’s all about…moms helping moms. WIC Peer Counselor

6 How Peer Counselors Help
Serve as a model for breastfeeding Establish a connection with the family Help mothers prevent and manage common concerns with breastfeeding Provide ongoing encouragement to help mother meet her breastfeeding goals Link to breastfeeding help beyond the usual 8-to-5 services Fill the gap in services immediately after hospital discharge for seamless continuity of care

7 WIC Healthcare Team As part of the WIC healthcare team, peer counselors: Free up staff time by taking time to help mothers explore and address barriers and concerns Make referrals to WIC staff if mother has questions or concerns outside her scope Promote WIC with participants and family members, encouraging participation Provide information for WIC team that affect health and nutritional status of client and her children

8 USDA’s Vision For Peer Counseling
Institutionalize peer counseling as a core service in WIC Provide leadership and resources to equip State and local WIC agencies with implementing peer counseling programs Two training curricula for WIC agencies “Using Loving Support to Manage Peer Counseling Programs” “Loving Support Through Peer Counseling”

9 Basic Job Responsibilities For Peer Counselors
Accept referrals of pregnant and breastfeeding WIC clients for follow-up Contact women at critical intervals Monthly during pregnancy Frequently during early days of breastfeeding Monthly as long as baby is breastfeeding Be available to mothers beyond usual WIC clinic hours Document all contacts with mothers Make referrals of women with concerns

10 Job Settings Telephone calls from home and the clinic Clinic visits
Home visits Hospital visits

11 Peer Counselors Are Well Trained!
Attend formal series of breastfeeding classes Personal study Observe/shadow a lactation professional (such as an IBCLC or senior peer counselor) Observe WIC nutritionist Ongoing training

12 Compensation Paid hourly for all contacts made with WIC participants, including documentation Will complete weekly activity reports and submit to supervisor

13 Supervision Peer counselors will:
Be supervised by local agency coordinator Receive weekly contacts from supervisor Attend monthly staff meetings Complete contact logs Have work spot checked

14 A Little Understanding Goes A Long Way!
This may be the peer counselor’s first job Mentor her by modeling professionalism As a WIC participant herself, her life has similar stresses to other WIC clients Loneliness and stress of listening to other people’s problems can lead to burnout Bringing her nursing baby to the clinic helps model breastfeeding for other WIC mothers Although she may “come and go” to the clinic, she is on call to handle emergency breastfeeding situations

15 How You Can Support Peer Counselors
Tell her she’s a valued member of the WIC team! Assist in recruiting qualified peer counselors Provide referrals of pregnant and breastfeeding WIC clients Include peer counselors in WIC clinic meetings and activities Reinforce her education to WIC mothers with consistent, accurate breastfeeding information

16 Create A Breastfeeding-Friendly Environment In The WIC Clinic
Stay up to date with your own breastfeeding knowledge Ensure the WIC clinic provides positive messages of Loving Support for breastfeeding Actively 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

18 Peer Counseling: Making A Difference For WIC Families!

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