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August 3, 2021 6 min
HealhFirst Network
216 South 3rd Avenue
Wausau, WI 54401
(800) 246-5743

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Karen Zimmerman, a WIC specialist from health first networks talking with this the third time we've had a chance to talk in this podcast, which great this almost focus on breast-feeding. How does WIC and breast-feeding go hand-in-hand to doesn't seem like they would be in conjunction with each other. So, how we feed our babies is one of the main components of what the WIC program is breast-feeding is the gold standard for how we should feed our babies now a lot of moms haven't had very much support in their own histories and own lives to be successful at that, even if that is what they want to do because none of their people that they associate with have ever done that one of the things that the WIC program has is called a breast-feeding peer program and what that is is we have moms who have breast-fed their own children and have been involved in the WIC program. They connect with our new moms to be there support person. Oh, that's cool. One of the aspects of it as a peer is that they need to speak the same language and be of the same culture as the mom. So in our population. We have like 30% of our population is mom so we have a Monk's woman who is breast-fed her babies that can speak among that can call those moms and chat or be that support person for them to call back to and how it works. The moms are connected via text or phone call and we just reach out to them and say hey here a.m. if you have troubles. If you have questions. I'm here to help you is your typical? It all depends on the mom situation. If there's no problems then you talk about what to expect and what's normal baby behavior. In the beginning, but if there are troubles or the mom just has questions like is this normal or is my baby getting enough to eat. This doesn't seem like he's growing good enough or how do I breast-feed my baby when I have a two-year-old. That's also running around ripping the house apart right so those kind of just mom kinda conversations in support is what the program is all about is your such a thing as breast-feeding classes. Oh yes, yes, most definitely. That's another aspect of our program that we offer moms breast-feeding class that is available to them in in the last month or two before they are scheduled to deliver their babies and things that we talk about in that class we cover things like what are the benefits of breast-feeding. How do you get started. What can you expect from a normal healthy baby in the beginning what's normal newborn behavior and as a new mom. How do I know if my babies okay and what can I expect the baby to do or not do. And then if these symptoms show her this behavior shows then that's worth a call to reach out to somebody. It really helps moms be prepared so they're confident going into having this baby whether there breast-feeding or decide after they get going that maybe that it isn't working so well, but they have the ammunition then to do the an informed decision about what and how they feed their baby going forward. So, certain certification, the staff has to go through yes all of the counselors for the WIC program are certified to some level of breast-feeding certifications and there's varying levels of that all of the counselors have had additional training on breast-feeding and be certified and one of our breast-feeding counselors is in the process of becoming an IBC LC certified lactation specialist and that stands for international Board of certified lactation consultants, and that's the highest level it's a certification that's geared towards medical care professionals who undertake the clinical management of breast-feeding in support and education. So for those moms that are having more difficulties. She will be able to help them in a very specific way because of all this extra training that she said in the testes is quite involved. One of the goals with having her at the certification level. Besides being that extra asset and resource for all of us and our WIC population is that we'd like to open that up to the general population so that we can serve as a resource for that within our community. The local healthcare systems have very limited numbers of this level certification with in the hospital and primary care systems in our communities and so we've identified that is a lack and were trying to fill that void with this certification here so Karen, it seems to me that health first networks wants families and moms and babies to be successful, and that's why you guys are helping a staff member get through and get certified as IBC LC. It seems like you guys are working toward something that a lot of other people are pushing away. Yeah, I guess we really saw that there was a void in our community. So supporting our staff member to become an IBC LC we feel that this is just a way for us to support moms and I'm more complete way better resources for a moms to be successful at breast-feeding
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