At Adagio Health, breastfeeding is a big focus of the Adagio Health team that oversees and operates WIC in several Pennsylvania counties. Beginning August 1, the organization will recognize World Breastfeeding Week: a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanize action on themes related to breastfeeding” (WABA, 2021). Celebrated the week of August 1-7 since 1992, WBW’s annual themes aim to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, and include many arenas like healthcare systems, women and work, community support, ecology, economy, science, education, and human rights (WABA, 2021). This year’s theme is: Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.
In the early 2000s, the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor (BFPC) program was developed. Since then, it has empowered nursing mothers and their support circles to persevere in their breastfeeding journeys. Following are some testimonials of the moms and WIC staff who believe the program is a big help.
“As Breastfeeding Coordinator, I work closely with the Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. The work they do to support breastfeeding mothers is irreplaceable. Participants frequently share their gratitude for the breastfeeding support, and the relationships the BFPC’s have with our participants are long lasting. I was lucky enough to experience firsthand the impact a BFPC has. Eighteen months ago, I was struggling beginning my own breastfeeding journey. Within days, Christie, our BFPC Coach, was able to give me the encouragement and support I needed. The check ins, advice, and discussions were instrumental in my breastfeeding success. Beyond that, working for Adagio Health, having breastfeeding rooms, and support from staff helped continue my journey when apart from my son.
~ Sam, Breastfeeding Coordinator at Adagio Health
“The Indiana team has been truly amazing. We all work together day in and day out to provide the best care to clients. As a new employee at the beginning of the year, the office experience has been great! I assure you that when you work together and feel appreciated, that production is enhanced and smooth sailing occurs! Team work=dream work, and we do just that!
~ Indiana County BFPC
“I am so thankful for your advice early on that protecting my supply is most important! I have diligently kept up feeding or pumped despite my tiredness, soreness, frustration, and my sweet husband’s willingness to “just feed him formula this time while I sleep” lol. My supply is good and we’re so happy we are not having to supplement any formula.”
~ WIC Mom in Beaver County
“I have really enjoyed the group. As a first-time nursing mom, I didn't know what to expect and having time to connect with other moms once a month has been so helpful. We can meet other moms in the area, encourage one another, and learn tips that have worked for some. Especially during the pandemic, that connection has been invaluable.”
~ WIC Mom – Beaver County Mom’s Group
“I wish more women had someone like you to go to for information and support. I always advocate for breastfeeding, and it makes it so much easier to have someone on your side to help and lend an ear whenever needed. It’s not always easy or even an act that comes naturally to some, but maybe more women would try to bf or even stick it out longer if they realized the resources are available!”
~ WIC Mom in Indiana County
Additional benefits that the Adagio Health WIC team shares include:
- Breast milk from a healthy mother can supply all the nutrients her baby needs for at least the first six months of life. In addition, breastfeeding has a host of benefits for both mother and baby. Babies who receive breast milk have less diarrhea and fewer illnesses in the first year of life.
- Mothers who breastfeed return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner and have a later return of menstruation. They also may be protected against breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
- Breast pumps are available to WIC breastfeeding mothers when medical insurance does not provide one.
Adagio Health Peer Counselors are also available Monday through Friday 8am – 9pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am – 1pm by calling the PA WIC Breastfeeding Warmline at 1-855-427-5666