The program aims to increase WIC's breast-feeding rates by offering mother-to-mother breast-feeding support. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding exclusively for six months, gradually adding solid foods, and continuing to breast-feed for at least a year. Increasing the number of mothers who breast-feed longer could save families and taxpayers billions of dollars each year nationally in formula feeding costs and healthcare.
A breast-feeding peer counselor is a mother on WIC who has breast-fed for at least a year and is trained to help other mothers breast-feed for as long as they are able in their situation.
Breastfeeding peer counselors help mothers prevent or overcome breast-feeding challenges by:
Assisting with breastfeeding classes on occasion
Being available by cell phone to answer mother's questions
Guiding working mothers to borrow a WIC breast pump
Making referrals to the WIC lactation consultant, WIC nurse, or doctor as needed
Regularly calling pregnant and breast-feeding mothers