Because WIC supports families, WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding.
A Federal Priority The WIC Program, a program of the Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture, explains its strong support of breastfeeding this way: “Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economical and emotional benefits to mother and baby.
“Since a major goal of the WIC Program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, WIC mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants. WIC has historically promoted breastfeeding to all pregnant women as the optimal infant feeding choice, unless medically contraindicated.”
Medical Community Supports Breastfeeding
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the authoritative voice of sound pediatric practice, recommends breastfeeding as the best option for an infant’s growth and development.
Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding calls upon all sectors to remove the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies, as mothers “shouldn’t have to go it alone.”
Office of Women’s Health The Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is another strong proponent of breastfeeding.
Our Request to Medical Providers Please encourage your pregnant and postpartum patients, whether WIC participants or not, to breastfeed. Further information about breastfeeding can be found in the breastfeeding section of this website.
Health and Well-Being Our WIC program, in accordance with federal and state policy, encourages and supports exclusive and continued breastfeeding in order to promote the health and well-being of the people we serve.
Enhanced Food Package At WIC we provide fully breastfeeding mothers and their babies a greatly enhanced food package throughout the first year of the infant’s life. Providing an enhanced food package is mandated by the national WIC Program. It is also a medically sound practice, as it promotes and supports full breastfeeding without the use of supplementary infant formula.
When the mother and infant receive an enhanced food package, they are provided more food and a greater variety of food than postpartum mothers who do not fully breastfeed and their infants.
For WIC mothers, the prospect of receiving the enhanced food package is an added incentive to exclusively breastfeed. Learn more about WIC foods here>>
Highlights of Our Breastfeeding Policy and Practice Our entire staff promotes and supports exclusive breastfeeding in an agency-wide effort. Expectant and new mothers are offered multiple and timely opportunities to learn about breastfeeding.
With rare exception, we do not provide breastfeeding mothers with food checks for supplemental infant formula during the first 30 days of the infant’s life. Individual assessments are conducted to ensure that mothers have ample opportunity to have their questions answered and their concerns addressed.
Ongoing Support Trained and experienced breastfeeding peer counselors reach out to breastfeeding mothers to provide ongoing support. We offer a range of support services to breastfeeding mothers, including:
• Breastfeeding Helpline: (323) 905-1248
• weekly breastfeeding support groups
• personal electric breast pumps for mothers returning to work or school
• hospital-grade electric breast pumps for medical need
• in-person help at their local WIC center on a drop-in basis
These topics and more are covered in the Breastfeeding section of this website.