Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children)
Bureau of Family Nutrition
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
Income-eligible pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants.
To improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, to reduce infant mortality, to improve cognitive abilities and overall long term health benefits of infants and children, and to reduce the incidence of obesity in childhood and later life.
The Peer Counselor Program provides specialized breastfeeding education, encouragement and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants. Peer Counselors do home visits, telephone consultations, hospital visits, and lead support groups. Peer Counselors also assist participants with breast pump use and provide outreach to hospitals and physicians on breastfeeding services offered.
Local WIC agencies provide Peer Counselor services to eligible participants at thirty-five sites throughout Illinois. WIC staff will refer clients to the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for ongoing breastfeeding support and education.
|Program Expenditures* (Numbers in 000's)
|Number of Grantees
*Reflects funding on a Federal Fiscal Year October 1-September 30
- Peer Counselors improve breastfeeding rates: the breastfeeding initiation rate for women receiving Peer Counselor services was 83.5.2% compared to 61.7% for women without Peer Counselor services. (WIC Peer Counselor Summary Annual FY07)
- Peer Counselors improve breastfeeding duration rates: The one-month breastfeeding duration rate for women receiving Peer Counselor services was 74.4% compared to 66.2% for women without Peer Counselor services. (WIC Peer Counselor Summary Annual FY07)