Data supports peer counseling

Breastfeeding is on the rise

The data on the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program and free breastfeeding classes for mothers receiving care in the Prentice Ambulatory Care Clinic in Chicago show it is successful.

From January 2009 to December 2010, the breastfeeding peer counselor has done the following:

• Counseled 861 women.

— 84% initiated breastfeeding; compared to 40% previously.

— 40% breastfed exclusively in the hospital.

• Conducted a total of 230 hospital visits with mothers in the postpartum unit.

• Provided 20 breast pumps for mothers that are separated from their babies.

• Taught a total of 23 breastfeeding classes; 340 people have attended a class.

• Enrolled 71 women were enrolled in a more intensively supported caseload.

— 94% initiated breastfeeding;

— 51% breastfed exclusively at the hospital; compared to 14% previously.

— 70% continued to breastfeed at six weeks; compared to 17% previously.

— 52% continued to breastfeed at three months;

— 36% continued to breastfeed at six months;

— 9% continued to breastfeed at 12 months.