The Breastfeeding Peer Counselor will provide information, counseling and support to WIC participants both prenatally and postpartum to assist them in their breastfeeding experience. The counselor will provide information consistent with the WIC program’s philosophy regardless of personal beliefs. The Peer Counselor assists women in getting the information, support and encouragement needed to exclusively breastfeed for the baby’s first year of life and beyond.
Peer counselor works under the direct supervision of the Breastfeeding Coordinator.
Peer counselor is or was a breastfeeding mother of a baby for ideally 4-6 months or longer. Currently a WIC participant or previous WIC participant preferred. Has the ability to listen and avoid judgment and is sensitive to the cultural diversity of WIC participants and accepts other lifestyles. Has knowledge in breastfeeding benefits and basic breastfeeding practices. Bilingual persons are encouraged to apply.
· Promote exclusive breastfeeding as the optimal feeding method for infants. The peer counselor will help to increase SNHS/RCA breastfeeding initiation and duration rates
· Work with pregnant women to discuss the participants’ choice of feeding method for the infant. The counselor will promote breastfeeding and help participant to discuss any barriers to breastfeeding the participant feels she may have
· The counselor will provide information to prenatal women interested in breastfeeding on the benefits of exclusively breastfeeding and will offer information and support to help sustain a successful breastfeeding experience
· The breastfeeding peer counselor will contact all postpartum women electing to breastfeed soon after delivery. Contacts will be made at the WIC office in person or by phone, to assist in initiating breastfeeding, to provide information and support, to encourage the continuance of successful breastfeeding and to respond to any breastfeeding concerns or problems
· The counselor will provide breastfeeding women education in the expression and storage of breast milk, including proper use and care of manual pumps
· The counselor will follow WIC’s procedures and guidelines when issuing electric breast
pumps. The counselor will explain proper use and care of the electric breast pump as well as perform and document monthly follow-ups with the participant
· The counselor will arrange follow-up contacts according to WIC’s policy for required contacts as well as additional contacts needed, providing it is agreeable to the WIC participant. The counselor will keep accurate records of all contacts
· The counselor will generate reports from StarLinc used to make needed contacts of pregnant and breastfeeding moms
· The counselor will help breastfeeding mothers connect with local breastfeeding support services in the community
· The counselor may be asked to attend special conferences or in-services on breastfeeding to increase her knowledge and skills.
· The counselor will attend breastfeeding peer counselor meetings and monthly staff meetings.
· The counselor will refer participants presenting with concerns that extend beyond the counselor’s knowledge and skills to the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator.
· The counselor will communicate to the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator the needs of the Peer Counselor program, high risk clients that need further attention, the inventory of electric breast pumps, as well as any pertinent information relative to a successful Peer Counselor program
· The counselor will refer breastfeeding women seeking formula to the WIC nutrition staff for further assessment
· Respect participant confidentiality by keeping all information confidential
· Promotes TEAM SPIRIT among Southern New Hampshire Service/Rockingham County employees and Community Health and Nutrition Services Department staff
· Performs all other duties as assigned
· Responsible for having adequate knowledge of all SNHS/RCA and local CAP programs and normally gather sufficient intake information to make referrals to other SNHS/RCA or local CAP programs beneficial to the client, his/her family or friends.
Southern New Hampshire Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer