Gasconade County, Mo. - Gasconade County Health Department's WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program, launched in 2012, has seen great success! Gasconade County WIC statistics show that breastfeeding initiation has increased 87% from last year.
WIC promotes breastfeeding as the optimal infant nutrition. The Breastfeeding Peer Counselor’s role is to educate women prior to birth and is available for support after the baby is born. The peer counselor meets with moms at the Hermann office and the satellite office in Owensville and is also available via phone after office hours.
The program loans hospital-grade double pumps to women who need them. The Gasconade County Health Department can provide women with a personal pump FREE of charge to encourage moms to continue providing their babies with breast milk after they have returned to work.
Moms who have a well-established milk supply, are exclusively breastfeeding (no formula) for 4 weeks, and will be away from their babies for at least 32 hours per week, qualify for the free pump.
"Moms are thrilled when we issue them a personal pump. They are happy that they can to return to work and still be able to provide the best nutrition for their babies. ‘Retain, not retrain’", reports Mary Allers-Korostynski RN BSN, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator.
"Missouri law says employers are required to allow women time to pump during breaks at work. It can actually be considered a health benefit that employers can offer that is easy and no cost. Breastfed babies are sick less often so there is less absenteeism." Allers-Korostynski adds.
Women who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding or need support, or are interested in WIC, please call Mary Allers-Korostynski at 573-486-3129. or visit us on the web at www.gasconadecountyhealth.com.