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WIC launches breastfeeding peer counseling program

WIC, a supplemental and nutrition education program for Women, Infants and Children, has always promoted breastfeeding as the standard for infant feeding and is now offering more support to women during their pregnancy and after their baby is born.

Breastfeeding is best for baby and is good for moms. Breastfeeding families are happy knowing their babies are getting the best food possible.

When pregnant women come to WIC, they may have heard that breastfeeding is best and have questions about how to feed their baby. They may have questions about breastfeeding and how it can fit into their life and work schedule. There are many women who initiate breastfeeding but for a variety of reasons discontinue within the first six weeks.

Since breastfeeding is recommended as the optimal nutrition for babies during their first year of life, WIC wants to support and encourage women to breastfeed longer.

The Goodhue County WIC recently launched a breastfeeding peer counseling program to support mothers and answer their questions. A breastfeeding peer counselor is a mother who has breastfed one or more of her children and has received special training to help moms reach their breastfeeding goals.

She will provide breastfeeding information, answer questions and provide encouragement and support. Services are provided through regular phone contact and arranged office visits.

The peer program is managed by a Goodhue County Maternal Child Health Nurse. The WIC program is also collaborating with the lactation consultants from Fairview Red Wing Health Services to provide training and support for the breastfeeding peer counselors.

What else does WIC provide?

• Nutrition tips and advice

• Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, bread and tortillas, milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, beans and infant foods

WIC in Goodhue County is administered through Goodhue County Health and Human Services. The main office is located in the Colvill Family Center in Red Wing, plus there are monthly out-county clinics in Zumbrota, Cannon Falls and Kenyon.

Any woman who is pregnant or anyone with children under age 5 should call the WIC Program at 651.385.4782 to see if they qualify.

Bea Haines is a Goodhue County public health nurse and the WIC coordinator.

Also available at WIC

People who are around infants, such as parents, siblings, grandparents, etc., should be protected against pertussis (whooping cough).

Adult Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis) vaccinations will be available in May.

Any adult 19 years or older who is uninsured or under-insured can receive this vaccine. A $14 donation is requested.

Vaccines will be available in:

•Zumbrota -- May 5 from 9 a.m. to noon, United Redeemer Church, 560 W. Third Street

•Kenyon -- May 10 from 9 a.m. to noon, St. Michael's Catholic Church, 108 Bullis St.

•Red Wing -- May 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Colvill Family Center, 269 E. Fifth St., Red Wing

•Cannon Falls -- May 12 from 9 a.m. to noon, First English Lutheran Church, 511 W. Belle St.