Keeping connected to the community, both physically and digitally, has become a vital part of everyday life. More and more people are turning to the online community for communication, education, support, resources, and to share their experiences. Tapping into the digital world builds on the existing community by quickly connecting users to the information they seek. Texas WIC celebrates World Breastfeeding Month (WBM) with a new theme, Connecting Communities: Strengthening support for breastfeeding moms.
Connecting with Moms
Moms, especially new moms, need fingertip resources and support systems that are fast, reliable, and always available. Local WIC agencies can make a presence in the online breastfeeding community by joining social media forums such as Twitter or Facebook creating a place for moms to share experiences, challenges, successes, and offer helpful tips to each other.
Utilizing all the markets and technology that moms are already using ensures they will receive the message. Posting event announcements in local newspapers/radio stations, doctor’s offices, community centers, schools, hospital/clinic waiting rooms, as well as online, through electronic newsletters, blogs, or by text maximizes the number of people that will be reached. More importantly, using all methods solidifies WIC’s presence as an active member of the local community.
Connecting with Resources
Websites have expanded to include much more than purely information. Many offer a way to create a personalized profile that, with a little information, can send timely e-newsletters, emails, or texts. Websites also offer easy ways to share with social media forums, network with others, and comment on the content of the sites. Many have also created mobile versions of their sites for on-the-go access and easy uploading to personal profiles.
The DSHS-sponsored website www.breastmilkcounts.com serve as excellent one-stop shops for moms. They offer a wealth of information, interactive learning activities, and serve as resources to locate local breastfeeding assistance. The websites also allow for moms to add their personal touch by creating birth announcements, signing up to receive newsletters based on their due date or age of their baby, and posting their stories. Video testimonials add a powerful way for moms to relate to other moms that share similar experiences.
The Breastmilk Counts mobile app, available free at iTunes.com and in the Android app market, allows breastfeeding moms a method of tracking and recording how often they are breastfeeding. Moms can then share the breastfeeding tracking journal via email to their WIC breastfeeding counselors for assessment or for their own personal records.
Connecting with Others
Keeping connected also means extending to others that support breastfeeding, but may not exactly know how they can help. For example, there may be a local television news anchor that is expecting and is interested in covering more topics related to pregnancy and breastfeeding. WIC can share educational information and details about upcoming events that could then be aired on the local news, blogs or other websites.
The key to building a strong network of breastfeeding supporters starts with making as many connections as possible. Assess your local community for opportunities to connect with breastfeeding moms and supporters of breastfeeding using all communication channels available to you. Together, you can build a strong breastfeeding community supporting Texas WIC moms and babies.
Look for Texas WIC’s lactation support and training centers on the web:
Materials Available for Breastfeeding Promotion 2012
In support of this year’s World Breastfeeding Month theme, local agencies are encouraged to seek opportunities to connect with their communities. Along with previous year’s materials, local agencies can use the following promotional items during their WBM celebrations:
- WBM photo cards
- CCNE: Benefits of Breastfeeding lesson (BF-000-38), which includes two games that can be played at celebration events or health fairs
For more lesson information or to obtain a copy of the lesson, visit the breastfeeding lesson plan website.
2012 WBM Activity Ideas (107 kb, PDF)
Sample Press Release:
2012 WBM Sample Press Release (37 kb, PDF)
2012 WBM Spanish Sample Press Release (40 kb, PDF)
2012 WBM Mayoral Proclamation (32 kb, PDF)