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Breastfeeding Support
Breastfeeding Services

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding Education

Lactation Accommodation



Breastfeeding Support Groups

PHFE WIC Centers provide breastfeeding support groups to postpartum breastfeeding mothers, and late 3rd trimester pregnant participants are encouraged to attend. Most Centers provide several monthly scheduling options for these support groups and provide them in all appropriate languages.

Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program

The USDA’s goal for Breastfeeding Peer Counseling is to institutionalize peer counseling as a core service in WIC. Combining peer counseling with the ongoing WIC breastfeeding promotion efforts is designed to increase fully and combination breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants.

PHFE WIC began its Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program in 2004 with special funding from the US Department of Agriculture. At PHFE WIC, Peer Counselors (PCs) are paraprofessional WIC staff enthusiastic about their breastfeeding success who want to share this enthusiasm and knowledge with women of their culture and language. They work with WIC mothers prenatally and up to 6 months post partum to support the mom’s plan for breastfeeding. Twenty-one WIC Centers have a PC who receives additional training and provides case management, group and individual education and facilitates support groups. Twelve IBCLCs provide mentoring and support for these staff and WIC moms.

Research has shown that peer counseling is a significant factor in improving breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among women in a variety of settings. Peer support represents a cost-effective, individually tailored approach and culturally competent way to promote and support breastfeeding for women of varying socioeconomic backgrounds, especially where professional breastfeeding support is not widely available.

Breastfeeding Helpline Services

The PHFE WIC Breastfeeding Helpline operates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with an answering machine for after-hour calls. The telephone number is advertised to all participants. The Helpline is supervised by a Lactation Consultant and staffed by several bilingual paraprofessionals who are Certified Lactation Educators and have excellent communication skills. They are trained to answer questions and triage breastfeeding problems. Additionally, participants receiving Breastfeeding Peer Counseling services have access to an “on-call” Lactation Consultant until 9:00 p.m. every night including weekends.

The Breastfeeding helpline phone number: (888) 278-6455