Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 35–42

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

Authors

  • Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn
    • Division of Nutrition and Physical ActivityCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Susan P. Rice
    • School of Public HealthUniversity of Alabama
  • Kathy Dugas
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
  • Linda D. Clark
    • Division of Nutrition and Physical ActivityCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Sandra Benton-Davis
    • Food and Consumer Service, Southeast RegionU.S. Department of Agriculture
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