The Nevada County Public Health Department's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program nominated and sent WIC Peer Counselor and participant, Mary Olender, to Washington D.C. last week to speak at the National WIC Association Leadership Conference and to our representatives on Capitol Hill in support of WIC's Breastfeeding Peer Counseling program.
WIC plays a vital role in supporting new moms which improves breastfeeding rates and minimizes disparities amongst those with lower incomes. This program has a growing body of evidence showing improvements in initiation and duration of breastfeeding, potentially saving billions in medical costs.
Mary's compelling story includes her own experience as a WIC Peer Counselor, a WIC participant, and her special little girl born last spring. Although Mary had much experience, she benefited from WIC's early support when her youngest daughter, Thea, was born with a cleft palate related to Pierre Robin Syndrome and wasn't able to breathe or breastfeed on her own. Despite the need for much support, Baby Thea has been thriving fully on her mom's milk!
Mary shared her grateful story to many in national leadership including the congressional offices of Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy.
For more information about the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, call NCPHD's WIC program at (530) 265-1454 or take a look at the National WIC Association’s flyer on Breastfeeding Peer Counselors.