Babies are best fed directly at the breast. But in special situations, being able to use a breast pump can make a world of difference to mothers and their babies.

Mothers With Preemies or Sick Babies Some of our WIC mothers give birth to infants hospitalized due to premature birth or illness or to infants with neurological or other physical conditions that interfere with their ability to suck. For these premature or sick babies, breastmilk is like medicine. When separation from baby is due to medical need, our WIC mothers may borrow a hospital grade breast pump through our pump loan program.

Electric breast pumps for medical need are covered by Medi-Cal and many insurance plans, and can be obtained elsewhere. WIC can fill the gap when a mother is waiting for a pump from one of these sources, or when that resource isn’t available.

Working or Student Mothers Babies thrive on breastmilk, and there’s no reason for the infant of a working or student mother to miss out. Mothers who work or attend school full time can feed their babies pumped breastmilk while they are away from them. Infant formula is not necessary, and exposes them both to unnecessary health risks. Full-time working and student mothers are eligible to receive a personal electric breast pump.

It’s the Law! Both Federal law and California state law protect a mother’s right to pump milk for her baby in the workplace. Employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a reasonable amount of break time to express milk for their child, and a private place to do so other than a toilet stall. The complete text of the California breastfeeding laws can be found on the BreastfeedLA website>>