Breastfeeding Peer Support
Research has shown that there is no better food for a baby during its first year of life than breast milk. The act of breastfeeding is not only nutritionally superior for your baby, but it also is a key emotional bonding experience. It provides antibodies and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and certain types of reproductive cancer in women.
MICA, as a WIC provider, encourages breastfeeding both because of its economical benefits and because of its boost to child health through good nutrition. We believe that breastfeeding is the best feeding choice for infants unless medically contraindicated.
Despite its numerous benefits, we realize that breastfeeding can be difficult for first time mothers. That's why we developed a breastfeeding peer support program to pair experienced mothers (peer counselors) with new ones.
Through this program, we help new mothers learn about the tools available to them including breast pumps, breast shells or nursing supplementers. Mothers who are experienced in breastfeeding can also coach on difficulties with latching on and foster community support for new mothers.
Be a WIC participant
Reside in Jasper, Mahaska, Marshall, Poweshiek, Tama, Boone, Hardin or Story counties.
Have a family income at or lower than 185% of the federal poverty level.
Be a breastfeeding woman with an infant or child.
Be declared nutritionally at-risk either at the WIC clinic or by an independent physician, nurse, or dietician.
Do you qualify for Breastfeeding Peer Counselors?
To qualify for MICA's Breastfeeding Peer Counselors program, you must:
What are the benefits to breastfeeding?
Breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
Formula feeding may increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Breastfeeding protects babies against vision defects.
Mothers who breastfeed have fewer doctor visits.
Breastfeeding facilitates proper dental and jaw development.