August is World Breastfeeding Month!
Governor Bobby Jindal has proclaimed August as World Breastfeeding Month in Louisiana as part of an international effort to raise awareness about the many benefits of breastfeeding and the important role that community plays in supporting breastfeeding mothers.
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals officials are reminding everyone that breastfeeding may contribute to the long-term health of women and their children. The Louisiana WIC Program and other breastfeeding organizations have been working diligently to help improve breastfeeding rates across the state. A DHH press release recently announced a significantly improved breastfeeding ranking and rate for Louisiana.
The 2013 World Breastfeeding Month theme is, "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers" and focuses on the benefits provided by Breastfeeding Peer Counseling.
Breastfeeding Peer Counselors: Provide Caring and SupportEven when mothers are able to get off to a good start, there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding, in the weeks or months after delivery.
The Peer Counseling Program provides an essential support system for mothers to help meet their breastfeeding goals and to achieve success. Peer counselors provide a valuable service to their communities by addressing the barriers to breastfeeding through offering breastfeeding education, support and role modeling. All peer counselors are also mothers, many recruited by the Louisiana Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC). They have personal experience with breastfeeding and are trained to provide basic breastfeeding information and support to other mothers with whom they share various characteristics, such as language, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
"Women are often drawn to other women with whom they share life experiences, especially when those experiences relate to parenting.
When new mothers have someone who can understand and identify with their experiences, they can better enjoy and cope with parenthood.
A peer counselor is an invaluable partner with mothers in their journey through parenthood, helping them gain confidence in their ability to breastfeed"
-Anne Batterjee of La Leche League International
USDA Food and Nutrition ServiceWorld Breastfeeding Month Video Message
|Additional Louisiana Breastfeeding Resources|
|For More Information about the Louisiana WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program:|
Penny Trepagnier, IBCLC
State Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Manager