We have continually expanded the services we provide our WIC mothers, infants and children. Many years ago, we added special nutrition services to respond to participants with medical conditions that can be affected by dietary choices.
Participants, Staff WIC participants with various medical and nutritional issues are seen by our registered dietitians and degreed nutritionists, who have special training in maternal and child health.
Comprehensive Services We provide education, counseling and follow up to WIC participants identified as needing intensive individual attention and ongoing support and guidance. These include women with diabetes, hypertension and a variety of other chronic conditions; premature infants, and children suffering from such difficulties as developmental delays, chronic illnesses and feeding problems.
Intervention Participants identified as having medical conditions receive a detailed nutrition assessment and specialized nutrition counseling and education. Our dietitians and nutritionists follow the progress of these participants and make referrals to other health, nutrition and social service agencies in the community as needed.
At times one of our dietitians identifies nutrition-related problems beyond the WIC scope of practice. The dietitian refers the participant to a health care provider who in turn can refer her to a clinical dietitian outside WIC. Our dietitians are available to reinforce the medical nutrition therapy a physician has provided a WIC participant.
Support of Breastfeeding Our special nutrition services staff are an integral part of our WIC program’s efforts to promote breastfeeding. They encourage their prenatal participants to breastfeed and to utilize the breastfeeding support services available to them at our WIC centers.
Breast milk is like medicine for premature babies and for infants born with other high risk factors. Breastfeeding is important for all mothers, but may be particularly so for those who are experiencing a chronic disease, such as diabetes. Breastfeeding can reduce their child’s risk of developing the same disease or condition later in life.
Formula for Medical Conditions In some medical situations, infants who are not exclusively breastfed require formula for medical conditions (FMC). When a mother requests this formula, our dietitians follow guidelines from the California Department of Public Health.
These guidelines state that WIC centers may make FMC available only in cases when it has been prescribed by a physician for participants with certain qualifying medical conditions and only when the infant has neither Medi-Cal nor any other insurance coverage for FMC. Read more about formula for medical conditions here>>
Trainings Our special nutrition services staff develop and conduct trainings for WIC staff. Topics include substance abuse prevention, anthropometrics, certain medical conditions, nutritious foods and activities for National Nutrition Month.
Nutrition Resource Our dietitians and nutritionists serve as a resource to the entire South LA Health Projects staff. They also provide presentations to the community and participate on committees and advisory boards.