Most women agree that breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby. Although breastfeeding becomes easier with experience, many women find it challenging in the first weeks. Guidance and support are so important. Many generations ago, women had their mothers, sisters and aunts close by and available for help with breastfeeding. Our culture has experienced changes in culture, immigration, employment and economics which led to a decrease in breastfeeding. Today, mothers and grandmothers may support their daughters’ decision to breastfeed, but they might not have the knowledge and experience. This is where WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors come into the picture. Peer Counselors provide the kind of guidance that breastfeeding mothers need because they lived through the experience of breastfeeding themselves. Also, Peer Counselors reflect the culture of specific communities and can provide assistance in the appropriate language.
The theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year is “Breastfeeding Support-Close to Mothers.” This theme was chosen by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action to give special recognition for the wonderful support that Peer Counselors provide to mothers and their families.
Whether you are pregnant, a new mom, or breastfeeding, be sure to ask your local WIC program about connecting with a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. They can make all the difference in helping you through this exciting time of your life, and help you breastfeed. You won’t be sorry! Contact 1-800-WIC-1007 for more information. You can also log onto www.zipmilk.org to search for breastfeeding support resources within your community.