Peer Counselor: Beth
My name is Beth and I am a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in Davenport, Iowa. I have three children, all very close in age. My first two were born in Arizona and the WIC office there gave a lot of breastfeeding encouragement but they were not fortunate enough to have a Peer Counseling program. After breastfeeding my first child for about eight months, I got pregnant again and my milk dried up. I was only able to breastfeed my second child for about 5 months due to thyroid issues. Without any breastfeeding education, I had no idea what was happening so I got all my information on breastfeeding from my mom, sister-in-law, and other women around me. Some was good advice, most was not.
My third child was born in Iowa and this time I had a “Peer Counselor”. There were honestly so many changes in my life during this time as I had recently moved from Arizona. I was told about the Peer Counseling program but I was a little confused on what that meant. It turns out my PC was great support! She called monthly to check on me, keeping the call short and simple, as I was trying to adjust to my new life with three children ages three and under. One day after attending a support group at the WIC office called Baby Café, I was asked if I was interested in becoming a PC myself.
Becoming a PC has completely changed my life. The education that I received to be a PC was, not only about breast milk but formula also. The information that I learned through my training was amazing, but at the same time, broke my heart because, with that information, I would have been much more successful with breastfeeding my first two children. Since I can’t go back, I feel good now knowing as a Peer Counselor I can help other women be successful. I am currently breastfeeding my 22 month old which is a GREAT feeling! I never thought I would breastfeed for this long but at the same time, I never knew how magnificent breast milk truly was. I have overcome so many barriers this time around and am so thankful for WIC and the education and support they have given me.
Scott County WIC Peer Counselor