A few weeks ago I blogged about “Baby Dental Days” at one of the Clackamas County (Oregon) Women, Infant and Children (WIC) centers. This event includes basic oral health screening, fluoride varnish, education and referral for children ages 0 to 5 who do not have a dentist. It occurs in conjunction with the monthly WIC Nutrition Fair. Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Oregon City center where Julie Albers, the public health programs manager, was kind enough to be my guide. She gave me a tour of the center, introduced me to WIC staff and the dentist, and discussed the programs.
The center offers a variety of services, and its trained, experienced staff are excited to help moms and their partners get off to a good start. Classes include pre-natal groups that discuss pregnancy and breastfeeding in detail. A real sense of camaraderie is created as moms with similar due dates learn and share information. In addition, there are one-time breastfeeding classes that cover all of the basics. Other services include breastfeeding help during walk-in hours and phone support; classes are also available in Spanish. And there’s even “TLC” – the Tuesday Lactation Connection! On Tuesday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm women can drop in and meet with trained peer counselors for breast-feeding guidance and baby weight checks.
Before I left the center I read “WICs Favorite Recipe for Lactation Cooks”: mix together 1 cup sweet baby, 1 cup skin-to-skin contact, 1 cup confidence, 1 Tbsp trust, 1 Tbsp time, 1 tsp comfort, 1 tsp determination, and 1 pinch loving support. That’s truly a recipe for life.