Health organizations worldwide recommend that mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months, and then continue breastfeeding for one year and beyond, even as solid foods are introduced. The longer and more exclusively a mother breastfeeds her baby, the greater the health benefits they both receive. New mothers can be successful meeting their breastfeeding goals with the loving support of family, community and health care providers.
How Knox County WIC Supports Breastfeeding
- Knox Breastfriends Group and Facebook page: A mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group for moms (and moms-to-be) and their children. Mothers value sharing experience with other mothers to help overcome barriers and for positive support and encouragement when concerns arise. Breastfeeding support helps mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals. Find out more here
- Peer Counseling: WIC breastfeeding peer counselors have a dramatic impact on helping a mother reach her breastfeeding goals because they give new mothers what they need most, a trusted friend who has been there.
A breastfeeding peer counselor is a mom who:
- Has personal breastfeeding experience;
- Has been carefully selected by WIC and trained in basic breastfeeding techniques and counseling skills;
- Gives basic breastfeeding information and support to new mothers;
- Desires to help mothers achieve their own breastfeeding goals;
- Provides basic breastfeeding information and support for WIC mothers;
- Contacts mothers regularly during pregnancy, the early days of breastfeeding, and until the mother chooses to wean her baby.
- Refers mothers with concerns outside the peer counselor’s scope of practice to appropriate lactation experts or health care professionals.
- Enhanced food package: Mothers who exclusively breastfeed receive more variety and larger quantities of foods in their WIC food package, and infants who are exclusively breastfed receive larger quantities and more types of baby food at 6 months of age. Find Out More Here.
- Trained Staff:
- WIC mothers choosing to breastfeed are provided information through counseling and breastfeeding educational materials by trained staff.
- All WIC staff complete USDA’s Grow and Glow training to achieve breastfeeding competencies for WIC clinics.
- WIC staff include: Certified Lactation Counselors and an IBCLC.
- Community Breastfeeding Resources: What types of support are available to breastfeeding mothers? Find out more here
- WIC Loaner breast pump program: Breastfeeding mothers may receive breast pumps and other aides to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding.
More Helpful Links:
- WIC Works Breastfeeding Resources
- Strong Baby Project: A breastfed baby is a stronger baby
- TN.gov Breastfeeding
- WomensHealth.gov Breastfeeding
- CDC.gov Breastfeeding
- Healthy Children Breastfeeding
- La Leche League: Mother to Mother support
- LactMed: Drugs and Lactation Database
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
- The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
- World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
- UNICEF: Global Breastfeeding Advocacy