Contacts:  Rebecca Campau, RN, IBCLC, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, Kathy Bladow, BSN, RN, WIC Coordinator, and Carley Elliott, WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

Why is St. Clair County WIC a Maternity Care “Shining Star”?

St. Clair County WIC is a model for maternity-care community building. In her dual role as Chair of the newly established St. Clair County Breastfeeding Coalition and WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, Rebecca has worked hard to incorporate all of their key maternity care partners into meaningful and dynamic conversations to change the systems for prenatal care, birthing, and postpartum support.

The St. Clair County Health Department WIC team works hard to positively impact breastfeeding rates throughout the community using a multi-faceted approach. Rebecca Campau explains, “We have taken out ads on city buses and billboards throughout the County promoting breastfeeding services. We coordinate direct medical provider outreach with a welcome basket of WIC breastfeeding materials and Coffective tools. We also strive to promote breastfeeding at community events, including our World Breastfeeding Events. Our newest endeavor was successful creation of the St. Clair County Breastfeeding Coalition in January 2017.” Since its inception, the Coalition has focused on community education and breastfeeding promotion, engaging 11 local businesses who completed the application for the Michigan Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Awards.

Throughout their breastfeeding promotion and education efforts, St. Clair County WIC provides consistent breastfeeding messaging to families. In addition to St. Clair County WIC, five prenatal care clinics, the birthing hospital, and the MIHP program have incorporated elements from the Coffective System of Training and Tools. For example, WIC staff visits the local birthing hospital several times per week to register clients and provide breastfeeding information and a list of available lactation support services. While at WIC, each clinic room features the Coffective counseling sheets and “We’re Prepared” checklist. The MIHP home visitors have also integrated the breastfeeding information and counseling tools into their program. This deliberate saturation of coordinated maternity-care services ensures that multiple providers using multiple tools reach the largest number of families throughout St. Clair County. In recognition of their achievements, St. Clair County WIC presented at the state Peer Counselor and Coordinators meeting, which inspired many programs around the state to implement similar efforts within their own communities. Rebecca offers the following “starlight” tip, “I feel what has helped our WIC Clinic’s success in coordinating with providers in the community is having a continued presence in their office. We have clients that recognize our faces from the WIC fliers posted in their OB/GYN and pediatrician offices.” Families know that breastfeeding education and support is a community-level priority in St. Clair County.