Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 35–42

An Evaluation of Breastfeeding Promotion Through Peer Counseling in Mississippi WIC Clinics

  • Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn
  • Susan P. Rice
  • Kathy Dugas
  • Linda D. Clark
  • Sandra Benton-Davis
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026224402712

Cite this article as:
Grummer-Strawn, L.M., Rice, S.P., Dugas, K. et al. Matern Child Health J (1997) 1: 35. doi:10.1023/A:1026224402712

Abstract

Objective: This study evaluates the effectiveness of a peer counseling program at increasing breastfeeding by participants in the Mississippi Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Methods: Data from the 1989–1993 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System were analyzed to compare breastfeeding rates in clinics with and without peer counseling programs. A questionnaire completed by program staff to describe the program in greater detail helped identify characteristics associated with greater success. Results: The incidence of breastfeeding rose from 12.3% to 19.9% in those clinics with peer counseling programs, but only from 9.2% to 10.7% in clinics without a program. Clinics that started a program earlier showed greater changes in breastfeeding incidence. However, the presence of lactation specialists or consultants in the clinic appeared to be more important than the presence of less-trained peer counselors. Peer counselors who spent more than 45 minutes per participant were more effective than those spending less time. Conclusions: The peer counseling program significantly increased the incidence of breastfeeding, particularly in clinics with lactation specialists and consultants. Success can be enhanced by ensuring that peer counselors spend a great deal of time with the participants.

BreastfeedingWICpeer counselinglactation consultantsMississippievaluation

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn
    • 1
  • Susan P. Rice
    • 2
  • Kathy Dugas
    • 3
  • Linda D. Clark
    • 1
  • Sandra Benton-Davis
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Nutrition and Physical ActivityCenters for Disease Control and PreventionGeorgia
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of AlabamaBirmingham
  3. 3.Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and ChildrenJackson
  4. 4.Food and Consumer Service, Southeast RegionU.S. Department of AgricultureAtlanta