A Breastfeeding Peer Counselor is a paraprofessional support person who provides basic breastfeeding information and encouragement to pregnant and breastfeeding WIC mothers. This part-time position can be based anywhere in South Dakota. Applicants must be able to work remotely and travel to the WIC office in their community, as needed. Preference is given to bilingual candidates, especially those fluent in Spanish and/or Karen.
- Has breastfed at least one infant for a minimum of 6 months (does not have to be currently breastfeeding).
- Is a past or current WIC participant.
- Is enthusiastic about breastfeeding, and wants to help other mothers enjoy a positive experience
- Can work up to 25 hours a week.
- Is willing to work from home.
- Has internet access and email address.
- Able to travel to the WIC office in your community for in-person contacts, as needed.
- Bilingual (Not required but will receive preference, especially fluency in Spanish and/or Karen).
The breastfeeding peer counselor is supervised by Growing Up Together. Technical assistance is provided by the South Dakota Department of Health WIC Program Breastfeeding Coordinator and local WIC office.
- Provide basic breastfeeding information and support to WIC participants including:
- Providing appropriate and evidence-based information to help pregnant women make an informed decision about how to feed their baby.
- Helping overcome common barriers.
- Helping women get a good start with breastfeeding.
- Helping women prevent and handle common breastfeeding concerns.
- Refer to the training curriculum for guidance on counseling techniques.
- Counsel pregnant and breastfeeding WIC mothers using Zendesk. Zendesk is an online tracking and communication software that provides the capability to communicate by text, phone, email, and Zoom. May meet in-person with participants at the WIC office in your community.
- Monitor conversations and answer questions on the virtual help desk.
- Counsel non-English speaking participants using an interpreter, if unable to speak the language.
- Follow-up on referrals from local WIC office within specified timeframe.
- Update WIC staff regarding contacts with participant.
- Update participant contacts using the WIC program’s online software and charting system, SDWIC-IT.
- Be available outside usual 8am to 5pm office hours, including nights and weekends.
- Respect each participant by keeping her information strictly confidential.
- Keep accurate records of all contacts made with WIC participants.
- Refer women, according to WIC protocols, to the following:
- Local WIC office health professional
- Participant’s physician or nurse
- Public health programs in the community
- Social service agencies
- Attend/assist breastfeeding classes and/or support groups.
- Attend meetings and breastfeeding conferences/workshops as appropriate.
- Participate in annual South Dakota Department of Health HIPAA and Civil Rights trainings.
- Refer to assigned books and materials on breastfeeding that are provided by Growing Up Together and the WIC program.
- Actively participate in initial and ongoing trainings including:
- Initial orientation, completed virtually
- Breastfeeding workshops, presentations, and conferences offered by the SD Department of Health WIC Program
- Observation of other peer counselors, health professionals or lactation consultants
- Monthly virtual meetings
- Reading assigned books or materials about breastfeeding