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jessicap 04-05-2008 09:14 PM

I need some help here...
I have been on DS for a period of time now...and I have come to know that the women and men on here have a vast amount of resources. My name is Jessica, and I have recently been hired by my local WIC office to be a peer counselor. For those of you who don't know what a Peer Counselor is, it is a woman who has been involved with the WIC program that has breastfed at least one child and is passionate about breastfeeding and believes that it is the best thing. She offers support to women and will help them to come to a decision to breastfeed and will support them on that journey. So I will be doing those things, but I will also be helping teach a breastfeeding and a basic baby care class to the WIC participants.

I know that there have been many discussions on DS about how unsupportive WIC has been for breastfeeding which I think is sad because my office is pro breastfeeding. We are going to start having women that come into the program see the LC automatically. We are going to assume every momma will be a breastfeeder until otherwise addressed. We are doing away with all formula related decorations and such and replacing them with breastfeeding friendly/baby friendly pictures. We are looking at changing the dynamic in our community to be that babies are born to breastfeed, that it is natural, healthy and normal.

One of the goals that we are looking at trying to do, is to set up a point type of a system. We are wanting each momma to pledge to breastfeed their babes for a period of time that they feel that they can commit it colostrum feeding only or extended nursing only..obviously we would like the extended for every momma, but are realistic in knowing that it is not likely that every momma is even going to jump on board with this let alone pledge right off the bat to EBF...But anyhow, we want to offer so many points for attending our breastfeeding class, and reading certain materials and watching videos, that type of thing and upon the completion of so many points (we have not really nailed down all the minor details just yet) we want that momma to sign her pledge card and we want to hand her a sling that she has earned. We want breastfeeding and baby wearing to go hand in hand. I will also be offering a baby wearing class as well....We also want to offer other incentives, we would like to give small baby baskets to each momma as well. Reward them for every milestone they hit, so those would be small items, baby blankets, bibs, haircut coupons, etc.

All of this is awesome and I am super pumped. But our WIC program does not have the funds to be able to do this. So I am asking around, if anyone knows of any places that would be willing to donate slings or other baby related products to the WIC program. We are ultimately hoping that we are not only going to impact the WIC participants, but be able to branch out into our community as well...

Please PM me if you know of any resources out there that may be able to help me out. I have never done anything like this before so I am just jumping in with both feet.

Thanks for reading all of this!!!

Irishmommy 04-06-2008 01:07 PM

Re: I need some help here...
I would say start in your community to see if any biz has items they would like to donate. Is there a shop in town that sells slings? Then, after I had been through the local resources, I would start with the big companies, like mayawrap, hotslings, etc. You might also post this on to see if anyone there has ideas. You also might contact big companies that sell sposie/reusable breastpads to see if you can get donations. They most likely will only donate items to you if you have the WIC office non-profit number. Just some random thoughts. Goodluck on your endeavor.

veggie_mama 04-06-2008 01:49 PM

Re: I need some help here...
Wish I knew. The ideas sound wonderful! Keep us updated on how it's going, please!

pbjmama 04-06-2008 03:16 PM

Re: I need some help here...
I think pps suggestions are good but I would try the local approach too - LLL, AP parent groups, NINO, etc. I think they are more likely to "invest" in local women because they are more likely to see the fruits of their labor. Maybe a local mom makes bibs and baby blankets? Maybe you can get local MOPS groups to make blankets as part of their crafts to donate? Stuff like that. The idea is really great, I hope you are able to get it started.

*KaiMom* 04-06-2008 03:26 PM

Re: I need some help here...
No ideas but wanted to say how awesome your ideas are and I hope it starts some change in your community.

debmom2boyz 04-06-2008 06:33 PM

Re: I need some help here...
WIC is what saved me from my beginning of what may have a failure at BFing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went on bedrest at 26 weeks....dh then lost his full-time job...we had NO INCOME coming in. I went on WIC. The checks were awesome. For some reason I craved MILK!!!!!!

Well my little guy was having hard time latching on. I called the peer counselor the day after Christmas in TEARS!!!!!!! I just couldn't get him on and I was pumping (with a hand up) every 45 minutes. *K* told me to come right down...they had a pump for me and I had an appointment the next day with another peer counselor. *D* spent a long time w/me and my little guy. Of course, he latched on for her, well not for her...

I tell others about WIC...they kinda snub their nose. We still get checks (but this will be our last year) and the gallons of milk alone are such a blessing!!!

My LO is 15 months and going strong!!!! Doesn't look like he is ready to end anytime soon!

jessicap 04-06-2008 07:28 PM

Re: I need some help here...
Thank you so much ladies, and thank you for sharing your stories about WIC! I really hope that I can make a difference in our community. I will definately go around the community...We have a LLL, I did not think about MOPS but that would be an awesome place. I wish we had a NINO...maybe some day huh?! I am going in tommorrow and see what kind of proposals I can get written up too....Thanks again!

emilysvenson 04-06-2008 07:36 PM

Re: I need some help here...
I think this sounds wonderful and hope that you will update us and let us know how it works out! I was just hired as a breastfeeding peer counselor for my local WIC program as well!

AlisonR80 04-06-2008 09:02 PM

Re: I need some help here...
I don't have any ideas just wanted to say i think what you are doing is great:thumbsup:
How do you get to be a peer counselor?

APmommy712 04-07-2008 06:00 PM

Re: I need some help here...
I was on WIC and saw a bfing peer counselor several times! They also introduced me to a great LC and well, here I am today still breastfeeding my 21 month old. So I know personally that great things can come from programs like this.

Our WIC office also has a rewards type of program for bfing. Their benchmarks are 6 wks, 12 wks, 6 months, 1 year I believe. They collected a ton of local donations for things us moms would enjoy. (Haircuts, messages, free dinners, movie tickets, etc).

I love the idea of tying in your rewards with attachment parenting things, like slings for babywearing. I would say ask local business for donations first and then go from there.

Good luck, this is such a great idea.

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