Over the past two months, Healthy & Active Before 5 (HAB45) provided a training series for Spanish-speaking community health advocates or promotoras on providing peer counseling to breastfeeding mothers, primarily in Concord’s Monument neighborhood.
The local news source ConcordPatch recently ran a story on this training which you can find here.
HAB45 collaborated closely with Contra Costa Health Services’ Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program and Monument Impact to offer this free 20-hour training called Loving Support.
Loving Support trainings are usually offered in English, but many Spanish-speaking educators have found it challenging to translate common breastfeeding terminology and concepts in a way that is clear and culturally relevant.
Of the trainings, one participant wrote in Spanish:
“It has helped me to increase my knowledge and understanding of how to help other moms, promote the importance of breastfeeding, and share information that breast milk helps the baby to grow up healthy. The training has helped me to have confidence in my ability to express myself in helping and promoting breastfeeding.”
Jeanette Panchula, a bilingual Public Health Nurse and certified lactation consultant, is leading the training sessions. Panchula has provided breastfeeding education and support as a La Leche League Leader since 1975. She translated portions of the Loving Support materials into Spanish for the Concord class.
Loving Support Trainer, Jeanette Panchula
“Many mothers quit [breastfeeding] because they don’t see any other alternative when they come against a barrier,” Panchula said. “The more people in the community who are knowledgeable, the better the chance that when a mom has worries, someone will know someone who will be able to recognize the problem and respond positively with, there is help and I’m here to get you to them.”
As of last Friday, we achieved our goal to provide 20 promotoras in the Monument Community with the necessary skills to offer quality, evidence-based breastfeeding peer counseling to breastfeeding moms in the community, so that more breastfeeding woman are connected to community resources.
These promotoras are now trained and ready to make a difference within the Contra Costa County community.
This training was made possible thanks to the generosity of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region Community Benefit Monument HEAL Zone Initiative and Kaiser Permanente Diablo Service Area Community Benefit. We are also very grateful to our partners from Monument Impact and Contra Costa Health Services WIC Program who contributed in-kind resources, participant recruitment, and staff time.