Breastfeeding is an important part of nutrition for infants and young children. The MSDH Women, Infants, and Children’s nutrition program provides services and support for mothers who are breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding mothers receive one-on-one and group support through peer counselors.
- Breastfeeding mothers can receive breast pumps, breast shells, and/ or nursing supplements to help support breastfeeding.
- Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants receive an enhanced food package.
- Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers.
The Mississippi WIC Program provides trained breastfeeding staff to provide education and support to WIC participants, including Peer Counselors and Designated Breastfeeding Experts (DBE).
Peer Counselors are women who have successfully breastfed their own infants and use their experience to support WIC participants. There are three levels of Peer Counselors:
- The Peer Counselor 1's provides basic breastfeeding information, encouragement and support to WIC participants.
- The Peer Counselor 2 provides specialized breastfeeding support for issues outside the Peer Counselor 1’s scope.
- The Peer Counselor 3 has specialized breastfeeding training and breastfeeding credentials, such as Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). These individuals are healthcare professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding. They are trained to handle more complex breastfeeding issues. The Peer Counselor 3 provides specialized assistance for high risk WIC participants.
Designated Breastfeeding Experts
The WIC Designated Breastfeeding Expert (DBE) is a healthcare provider or nutritionist with International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification. The DBE is an individual with special training or experience helping mothers with complex breastfeeding problems that are outside the scope of peer counselors and other WIC staff. The DBE assists WIC mothers and infants with complex breastfeeding challenges and provides follow-up breastfeeding support to participants.