Posted by: Julie Forgit – WIC Nutritionist
When I had my first daughter, Emma, I thought breastfeeding would be easy for me and I wouldn’t need any support nursing her. After all, I had worked for WIC for 8 years, counseled WIC clients on breastfeeding, and was a Certified Lactation Counselor. But I couldn’t have been more wrong–I needed support. My mother did not breastfeed, and although my husband was very supportive, neither one knew how to breastfeed! A Lactation Consultant at WIC, Ilene, listened to me, supported me and told me I was doing a great job! She was really patient and offered terrific advice that reinforced that I was doing fine and had plenty of milk for my baby. Thanks to all the support I received, I successfully breastfed Emma for a year. And I learned that every mom needs support when breastfeeding their new baby. Who supported you?
Did you know that all WIC programs in Massachusetts have a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program? Peer Counselors are WIC moms who have previous breastfeeding experience and who have received additional training through WIC to help support moms. Peer Counselors call moms at home to check how they are doing, meet with moms in the WIC office, and help facilitate support groups and classes. If you would like to meet or talk to a Peer Counselor, call your local WIC office to sign up!
If you are not eligible for WIC, but you or someone you know needs support with breastfeeding, check with your local birthing hospital or zipmilk.org to find out about breastfeeding support services near you. Many health insurance plans now offer access to lactation support services and breast pumps for free! Call your health insurer to see how they can help you.
Whether you work with a Lactation Consultant or a WIC Peer Counselor, all moms need support. Please reach out to your local WIC program and hospitals to get the support you need!!
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