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

    

For More Information about the Louisiana WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program:

Penny Trepagnier, IBCLC

State Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Manager

(225) 922-2276

penny.trepagnier@la.gov