Loving Support Peer Counselor Program

Illinois' Loving Support Peer Counselor Programs

Since 2005, Illinois WIC programs have been implementing the Loving Support Peer Counselor program in their agencies. 

Following USDA's Loving Support guidelines and parameters, the Peer Counselor Program provides specialized breastfeeding education, encouragement and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants. Peer Counselors do home visits, telephone consultations, hospital visits, and lead support groups. Peer Counselors also assist participants with breast pump use and provide outreach to hospitals and physicians on breastfeeding services.

To improve breastfeeding support, initiation and duration rates, to reduce infant mortality, to improve cognitive abilities and overall long term health benefits of infants and children, and to reduce the incidence of obesity in childhood and later life.

Local WIC agencies provide Peer Counselor services to eligible participants at fifty-eight sites throughout Illinois. WIC staff refers clients to the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for ongoing breastfeeding support and education.

Peer Counselors improve breastfeeding initiation rates: the breastfeeding initiation rate for women receiving Peer Counselor services was 83.3% compared to 60.4% for women without Peer Counselor services. (WIC Peer Counselor Summary Annual FY10)

Peer Counselors improve breastfeeding duration rates: The one-month breastfeeding duration rate for women receiving Peer Counselor services was 74.8% compared to 64.0% for women without Peer Counselor services. (WIC Peer Counselor Summary Annual FY10)

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program Fact Sheet

Illinois Loving Support Peer Counselor Programs
are indicated in green on the following map.

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program Map

Loving Support Peer Counselor Program Guidelines

PC Nutrition Practice Guidelines 

Peer Counselor Brochure

PC Brochure English 

PC Brochure English

PC Brochure Spanish  

Peer Counselor Brochure - Spanish

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Network

             Peer Counselors across the state stay connected using social media! 

Who can join?
This Network is exclusively for Illinois Breastfeeding WIC Peer Counselors and Peer Counselor Supervisors. Information posted on this Network is not to be shared with individuals who do not meet membership criteria. 

How do I sign up?

-Go to the following link
Clickon “Join this group”.  You will need ayahoo account/id.  If you already haveone sign in, otherwise you will be given an opportunity to create one.  It will prompt you to complete yourinformation to join the group.  Pleasemake sure you put a comment to the owner of the group.  State your name, email address and identifyyourself as a Peer Counselor or Peer Counselor Supervisor from _______ IL WICprogram. 

-Once your request to join the Network has been submitted it will be approved by the moderator. 

-You will receive a welcome message in the next few days indicating you have been accepted as a member of the Network along with etiquette for posting on the site. 

-You can select how you want to view or receive the messages (posts) - Web only or receive by email (you select which email address will receive the messages).  If you select to receive by email you can decide if you prefer to receive them individually or in a digest (several messages combined into one email) Network

-Be considerate and choose your words carefully as you post comments.
-Share concerns about situations and ask questions without the use of names.
-Support the work efforts of other peer counselors.
-Keep messages short and to the point.

Please do not:
-Speak negatively about health professionals or name them.
-Advertise or discredit commercial products.
-Use only capital letters as this indicates you are upset or shouting.
-Cut/paste and email information to anyone outside this network.  

Please also consider:

  • When you post to the group, your post is visible to all.
  • When you reply, erase the previous post to reduce length of the text.
  • Quarterly posts will be sent reminding members of the Network etiquette.
  • The Network will be monitored regularly to assess the appropriateness of posts while staying within the parameters of etiquette.
  • A ‘watch list’ will be established if posts from an individual repeatedly become inappropriate so that oversight is assured.