The benefits of WIC education can last throughout a lifetime.
Opportunities for WIC Education One-on-one counseling, group education, referrals, and educational materials on a variety of topics are available to all WIC participants, and breastfeeding support groups are available to nursing mothers. Periodic meetings with a nutrition educator or breastfeeding peer counselor allow participants to gather information and skills pertinent to their children and the needs of their families as they experience pregnancy, new parenthood and their children’s growth and development.
Our WIC Educators Many of our educators are members of the community we serve. This ensures culturally and linguistically sensitive education and support from our well-trained staff. Registered dietitians and degreed nutritionists are available to assist participants with health conditions or concerns that add extra stress to their pregnancy or their child’s health. Breastfeeding peer counselors, themselves mothers with extensive breastfeeding experience, provide guidance and support to new mothers.
Our Approach to Participant Education Our educators employ a respectful, “learner-centered,” individualized approach–guiding people to discover healthful options and to make their own educated decisions. One of our goals is to empower parents to make good nutrition and health decisions for their families well beyond the relatively brief period of WIC program participation.
Pregnancy and Parenthood These are exciting times of uncertainty and discovery. Our educators address participants’ concerns and, with an eye to issues that might arise in the future, provide guidance to smooth the way. Expectant mothers may wonder if breastfeeding will hurt. Mothers of newborns may doubt their milk supply. Parents may puzzle over what their babies’ crying means and how to soothe them, or which vaccinations their children need, or how to get their toddlers to eat vegetables. Caring educators provide pregnant women and parents with the information they need to raise healthy children.
Preconception Care for a Healthy Next Pregnancy About half of pregnancies are unplanned. And we know just how important it is for the mother of a newly conceived baby to be healthy even before she knows she’s pregnant. Therefore we provide all postpartum women with information and guidance to help them both space their pregnancies adequately and achieve good health for their own sake and for the sake of any subsequent planned and unplanned pregnancies.
Providing Education and Support One-on-one education is tailored to each participant. Group education is intimate and interactive, allowing participants to learn from one another and from the facilitator.Information by telephone is targeted to new breastfeeding mothers, who are sure to have many questions between their scheduled site visits, and our Breastfeeding Helpline is available to all.
A Preventative Health Program Our education staff guide participants to make decisions that will help them prevent chronic conditions, such as obesity, and improve health conditions that already exist, such as anemia. Our educators draw upon information from medical providers and participants.
Referrals One of the critical services we provide is referral to community resources. At times participants speak to our educators about a personal or family concern that WIC does not address. When this happens, staff share information about appropriate community resources. Read more about community resources here>>
Educational Material We provide a wide variety of handouts—brochures, magazines, flyers, booklets–on such topics as breastfeeding, baby cues, introduction of new foods, tips for feeding picky eaters, community resources and many more.
Some of these materials follow.