The first week of my rotation with WIC was spent shadowing both WIC educators and WIC dietitians. It has been interesting to witness the different styles of doing the assessment and using the Nutrition Care Process. Even though styles differed, I noticed that each person I shadowed used motivational interviewing and empathy during their appointments. I think that this is critically important in this setting because it is common for mothers to feel uncertain about what to expect for their children’s development and eating preferences.
Going into my rotation I think I underestimated just how challenging it can be for mothers to breastfeed. So far I have heard that the baby couldn’t latch, the mother’s letdown was inadequate, the mother was experiencing pain or engorgement of her breast(s), the mother had to return to work or school, etc. Any number of things can act as a barrier to breastfeeding, but what was so wonderful about the educators and dietitians was that they really explained why breastfeeding is preferred and offered guidance and aid to help the mothers succeed.
It is fair to say that this has been my favorite part of the internship thus far, and I want to encourage everyone to try to have a WIC experience during the internship!