WIC team shares importance of breastfeeding

By Pam Daniel - For the News Journal

The Clinton County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) breastfeeding team consists of two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and a Peer Helper. Team members all have personal experience with breastfeeding which allows them to better relate to clients and client situations and concerns.

Renee Quallen BSN, RN is the Director of the Clinton County WIC Program and is an IBCLC. She started with the WIC program in 2011.

She feels breastfeeding is an investment in public health.

“The health benefits to both the mother and baby are numerous and well-documented; that doesn’t mean it is easy,” she said. “ As an IBCLC I am able to help mothers meet their goals and support them in one of the most amazing times of their lives. I want a mother to be able to meet her goals whatever that goal is.

“Sometimes breastfeeding is as easy and natural as it seems it should be. For many mothers though, it can be a process that takes more time. My best advice would be to give you and your baby time. Be gentle and positive with yourself. You are learning. Ask for help and guidance if you even think you have a question.”

She recommends Kellymom.com as an online resource for mothers and health professionals alike because it provides current research based information about a variety of breastfeeding topics.

Delilah Pritchett, LPN is an IBCLC and the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the PEER Helper program. She started with WIC in 2010. She feels that breastfeeding is the most important protection you can pass on to your baby.

“When mothers don’t breastfeed they generally use artificial baby milk and lose the important protection that only comes from mother’s milk,” she said. “It increases the risk of SIDS, many types of cancers in both mom and baby, obesity, diabetes, and over all sickness.

“I love working with breastfeeding families because I love helping people! It’s very gratifying when a mother comes in in tears and with a bit of help and encouragement leaves smiling!”

Her best advice in regards to breast feeding is: Don’t make it happen, let it happen! She loves sharing information from her favorite breastfeeding resource Medications and Mother’s Milk by Thomas W. Hale, RPh., PhD.

Danielle Grubb is a WIC Peer Helper for breastfeeding. She started with WIC in 2018.

“I feel breastfeeding is important because it provides protection against allergies, illness, and obesity,” she said. “Breastfeeding can also lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in woman.

“I have always wanted to help pregnant woman and new moms in some way. So, when I saw the job posting for the peer helper position I knew I had to apply. I have enjoyed learning about so many things related to breastfeeding as well as sharing my experiences as a breastfeeding mom. Be patient. Breastfeeding is a learning experience for both mom and baby and if you have any questions or concerns contact a lactation consultant.”

Her favorite resources are handouts on colostrum, skin-to-skin, hunger queues, and the diapers of a breastfed baby.

The WIC breastfeeding team has a wealth of knowledge and experience. These ladies are passionate about breastfeeding. Monthly virtual breastfeeding classes (via Zoom) are being offered the third Thursday of every month and are open to the general public.

To register for class or if you would like more information on breastfeeding or breastfeeding support, you can contact Clinton County WIC at 937-382-2862.

Pam Daniel is Health Educator for the Clinton County Health District.


By Pam Daniel

For the News Journal