It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month – Idaho moms set a great example


Idaho’s breastfeeding rate is one of the highest in the nation, and that’s something we like to celebrate this month during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breast milk offers the most optimal form of nutrition, and we’d like to keep encouraging new moms to consider breastfeeding their babies.     Continue reading

Second annual Idaho Breastfeeding Summit planned for June 28-29; register by June 7

By Mimi Fetzer, Idaho WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator
and board member of the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition

A new partnership has been formed between the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition and the Department of Health and Welfare’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program. I worked with Maternal and Child Health Section Manager Jacquie Watson to discuss ideas to increase collaboration between the Coalition and MCH. This enabled MCH and WIC to use their sections’ resources to better serve the breastfeeding population and has contributed to the expected success of the second Idaho Breastfeeding Summit in June 28-29.

The Coalition is in final preparations for the Summit, which will be held at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise.  Speakers and topics have been selected to build on the momentum of last year’s summit. You can see the agenda hereContinue reading

WIC program sponsors 1st-ever Idaho Breastfeeding Summit to continue support for mothers and babies

Mimi Fetzer

By Mimi Fetzer, RDN, LD Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Idaho WIC Program of IDHW’s Division of Public Health

In the summer of 2016, the Idaho Women, Infants, Children (WIC) program’s breastfeeding accomplishments helped it receive a Breastfeeding Bonus Award of $103,882 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The Idaho Breastfeeding Summit drew 160 participants Aug. 1-3 in Boise.

Many of the WIC-designated breastfeeding experts also participate in the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition to help supplement their knowledge and community outreach efforts. It was proposed that a large portion of the Idaho Breastfeeding Bonus Award go toward funding a first-ever Idaho Breastfeeding Summit, a conference that would strengthen breastfeeding efforts currently benefiting the state of Idaho. Continue reading

A Closer Look At Your Health: Idaho moms do a good job of breastfeeding their babies

Idaho’s breastfeeding rate is one of the highest in the nation, and that’s something we like to celebrate during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breast milk is best, if possible, and we’d like to keep encouraging new moms to consider breastfeeding their babies.

Why is breastfeeding so much better than anything else?

Breastfeeding is the natural, normal way to feed a baby, and it provides a multitude of health benefits for moms and babies. Breast milk provides nutrients that aren’t available any other way and boosts a baby’s immune system. It reduces the risk for a variety of infectious diseases, ear infections and diarrhea. It’s also great for the mom, who often loses pregnancy weight faster and has a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It’s good for the environment because there’s no packaging or factories needed to produce it. And – the best part – it’s ready whenever your baby is hungry!  Continue reading

Central District Health Department WIC program earns national-level kudos

CDHD AwardWeb

From left: Lorraine Fortunati, Laurie Valdez, and Cindy Galloway from Central District Health receive the Loving Support Gold Premier Award of Excellence from Idaho WIC staff Cristi Litzsinger, Kris Spain, and Mimi Fetzer. 

The Idaho WIC program would like to congratulate Central District Health Department and its Peer Counseling Program, which recently was awarded the Loving Support Gold Premiere Award of Excellence.

The award was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to recognize and celebrate local WIC agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services. The intent is to provide models and motivate other local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotions and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants. Idaho WIC employees from the Department of Health and Welfare presented the award to the health district last week.

“Peer counselors are key to Idaho WIC’s breastfeeding success and continue to provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support to WIC participants,” said Cristi Litzsinger, Idaho WIC program manager. “It’s exciting that the program at Central District Health has received this national recognition. We are thrilled to be continually recognized for our efforts in supporting breastfeeding.” Continue reading