Every year, Texas WIC joins a worldwide campaign during the month of August to increase public awareness of the many benefits of breastfeeding. When it comes to breastfeeding, every single ounce counts towards the health of mom and baby. This year’s Texas WIC World Breastfeeding Month (WBM) theme is Every Ounce Counts: Helping Moms Achieve their Breastfeeding Goals.
All breastfeeding moms have one main goal: to feed their child. But that alone can mean many things. It can mean making it through a sleepless night with a newborn, adjusting to a baby’s feeding demands during a growth spurt, planning on returning to work or school, providing expressed breastmilk to the compromised or premature infant, or anything supporting their breastfeeding relationship.
As WIC staff, our job is to help moms navigate through challenges by helping them define small steps they can make towards their breastfeeding goals. When counseling moms, focus on the most important thing they can do to achieve their current breastfeeding goal and give them tips on how to achieve that one thing.
For example, a small step goal for a new mom might be to try different breastfeeding positioning to find which is the most comfortable for her infant and herself. This could be especially helpful for moms that may be sore after delivery or babies that may have some bruising. Certain positions may also help with achieving a better latch, allowing mom to rest, or keeping the baby alert and interested in breastfeeding.
Remember, small steps are less intimidating and can quickly add up to a list of achievements. The key to setting breastfeeding moms up for success is to help them define realistic, achievable goals.
Think outside the box
Sometimes helping moms achieve their goals means getting creative. Offer suggestions, such as taking photos/video/recording the voice of their babies on their cell phones as a quick tip to offer a working mom who is planning to pump. These images and sounds can help moms stimulate a let-down by appealing to the mom’s senses while pumping. This is something very easy for moms to do since they probably already have some photos/videos/recordings on their cell phones.
Cell phones can also be helpful by enabling peer counselors to be reached for questions outside of clinic hours. WIC offices can utilize them to send timely reminders for new moms to set their first postnatal appointment with a breastfeeding peer counselor as soon as possible after she is discharged from the hospital.
Most moms turn to the internet as a resource and for support. Stay abreast of the latest internet trends, including social media and networking, so you can help moms navigate through credible websites, blogs, forums, etc. Routinely visit these sites and update your local agency breastfeeding referral lists to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date information.
Texas WIC’s lactation support and training centers on the web
Look for Texas WIC’s lactation support and training centers on the web:
Phew, we made it!
There are no set standards (duration of breastfeeding, amount of expressed breastmilk, number of challenges conquered) to define breastfeeding success. That can only be determined by each mom’s achievement of their personal goals. Oftentimes, all counselors and supporters have to do is show breastfeeding moms that they are well on their way to achieving their goals.
Materials available for Breastfeeding Promotion 2011
As this year’s World Breastfeeding Month theme compliments the 2009 & 2010 Every Ounce Counts campaigns, materials from both years are available for ordering on the Texas WIC catalog online (hyperlink to catalog). These items include:
- The 2010 WBM poster
- Every Ounce Counts logo and website stickers
- "Sing to Me" lullaby CDs
- The 2009 Every Ounce Counts poster series
- License to breastfeed in public pocket-sized cards
- Breastfeeding-Friendly Establishment decals and business flyers
- Breast milk Storage Guidelines magnet
Check out our latest breastfeeding promotion item:
WBM photo cards
Similar to greeting cards with a photo insert, these cards provide a fun and personalized way to include participants in breastfeeding promotion. These cards can be given to participants at WBM celebrations, nutrition carnivals, or during counseling sessions. Participants can insert their baby’s photo into the card to display in their homes or at their worksites. They serve as a great, portable incentive item for working moms who are pumping at work or school.
The following can be used by local WIC agencies to support World Breastfeeding Month activities and celebrations:
2011 WBM Activity Ideas
Sample press release:
2011 WBM Sample Press Release
2011 WBM Spanish Sample Press Release
2011 WBM Mayoral Proclamation