Medical providers often ask questions about our WIC program. These might be your questions too.
You can contact the Outreach Department or ask for the Outreach worker who delivered materials to you previously by phoning (323) 757-7244 ext. 298. You can ask for copies of our other materials too. See our forms here>>
How do I arrange for a WIC presentation?
We can provide a WIC presentation for your staff.
We can also provide breastfeeding information and/or presentations during prenatal classes and baby showers. Please call Charlene Walters of our Outreach Department at 323-757-7244 Ext. 298.
Should I determine a patient’s eligibility?
We recommend that you do not do this. Eligibility for WIC is a complicated matter. Even a patient you assume is not eligible might actually be eligible. Please refer all your pregnant women, postpartum mothers, infants and children through the age of four to WIC. We will determine their eligibility according to WIC guidelines. Click here to read more about eligibility>>Your patients can inquire about eligibility for WIC by phoning (310) 661-3080.
Which WIC center should someone visit?
WIC applicants, adult WIC participants and parents of young participants can visit the WIC center of their choice. Our WIC centers are listed on our flyers, posters and referral forms. View a map of our region and a list of our WIC centers here>> For your patients, access a downloadable form with WIC addresses here>>
Does WIC do more than give food checks?
Yes, we do much more. We provide a wide variety of health promotion and education services, including one-on-one nutrition education; assessment, counseling and continuing follow through by registered dietitians when participants present special medical conditions; group education on such topics as nutrition, breastfeeding, parenting and immunization; breastfeeding support; individualized immunization counseling and tracking; and referrals to community resources.
Are WIC food checks different from food stamps?
Food stamps are simply credit for purchasing any type of food; no nutrition assistance is provided the recipient. On the other hand, our WIC food checks limit our participants to select foods that are nutritious and targeted to the needs of each person. For example, the foods identified on the check will be quite different for a breastfeeding mother than for a three-year-old who is lactose-intolerant. Read more about WIC food checks here>>
Is WIC affiliated with WIC stores?
No, WIC is not affiliated with WIC stores. The WIC stores are independent of WIC. Our participants can shop at any store that accepts WIC food checks.
Does WIC require a blood test?
Yes we do require this test. The frequency with which the test is required depends on the individual. WIC regulations require that women be tested during the prenatal period.
The test for non-breastfeeding or breastfeeding women must be completed after the pregnancy ends, preferably at the postpartum visit.
An infant nine months of age and older must have a test for anemia; a blood test result from between six and 12 months of age can be used to meet this requirement.
All children one year old and older must be tested annually. A below normal hemoglobin/ hematocrit requires a repeat test every six months until a normal result is documented.
How often does WIC require a blood lead test?
We assess and refer for blood lead testing at each child’s yearly certification appointment or upon WIC enrollment.
The WIC pediatric form includes an area for the participant’s healthcare provider to record lead blood test results. Those children found with lead poisoning (≥ 10 mg/dl) will be referred to one of our WIC dietitians or degreed nutritionists for education and follow-up.
Why does WIC ask for pregnant women’s weight?
We collect each pregnant woman’s current weight in order to assess and monitor her weight gain.
Why do you ask for pediatric height and weight?
We track infants’ and children’s anthropometric data in order to assess and monitor their growth.
How does WIC help mothers with infant feeding?
WIC provides expectant and new mothers education and support to help them breastfeed.
During the first critical weeks after birth, it’s important to protect a mother’s milk supply and prevent early and undesired weaning. For these reasons the WIC Program, with rare exception, does not provide formula to breastfeeding mothers during the first 30 days postpartum when there is no medical need.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for six months, and continued breastfeeding for at least one year. To support full breastfeeding, WIC provides mothers who exclusively breastfeed the maximum WIC food benefits for themselves and their babies during the first year. Our policy is for all staff to encourage breastfeeding. Learn about our breastfeeding policy here>>
We provide a range of services to help mothers breastfeed, including access to breastfeeding peer counselors and lactation specialists, our Breastfeeding Help Line, breastfeeding support groups and more.
Does WIC provide breast pumps?
WIC provides two kinds of pumps. When a pump is needed for medical reasons and the mother is uninsured, WIC will provide a hospital grade electric pump. When a mother has Medi-Cal or private insurance, we will also provide the hospital grade pump–but only during the waiting time, if any, before she receives the pump from Medi-Cal or through her private insurance company. When our participant is a full-time working mother or student, we will supply her a personal electric pump to keep. Learn more about breast pumps here>>
What about breast pumps for moms with preemies?
When a premature infant needs to remain in the hospital, a WIC mother who requests an electric breast pump will receive one. She can use it until her baby has transitioned to the breast.
Does WIC provide formula?
WIC strongly encourages mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and then continue breastfeeding for at least the remainder of the first year while solids are gradually introduced to the infant.
When a breastfeeding mother requests formula during the first 30 days of the infant’s life, we provide no formula. In rare exceptions, if there is a medical need, we do provide formula. Our purpose is to protect the mother’s milk supply and help her establish lactation.
After the first 30 days, in accordance with USDA and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) policy, we continue to encourage and support exclusive breastfeeding. When a mother combo feeds, staff do a thorough assessment to address her concerns and help her realize her options. Our aims are to avoid compromising her milk supply, assist her to establish lactation, and help her feel confident. Read more about our breastfeeding policy here>>
In accordance with CDPH and USDA policy, if the mother then requests formula, we will provide it on an as-needed basis anytime following the infant’s first 30 days and up to the age of one year.
When a non-breastfeeding mother requests formula for her baby from WIC, she will receive it throughout the first year in accordance with the infant’s age and changing needs.
Which formulas may women obtain from WIC?
Women whose infants are eligible to receive “WIC contract formula” may receive Enfamil Premium, Enfamil ProSobee, Enfamil Gentlease or Enfamil AR.
When does WIC provide therapeutic formula?
In accordance with the California Department of Public Health policy, WIC makes therapeutic formula available only to participants who do not have Medi-Cal or any other means of coverage for therapeutic formula.
Each WIC participant presenting a prescription for therapeutic formula will be assessed by one of our Special Nutrition Services dietitians or nutritionists to determine medical need and available health coverage. To learn about WIC and therapeutic formula, read more here>>
Does WIC provide Medical Nutrition Therapy?
We do not provide MNT per se. In the course of counseling high risk participants, our WIC dietitians and nutritionists do reinforce the MNT provided by the clinical dietitian as ordered by the participant’s health care provider.
If the WIC participant has a medical condition related to nutrition and does not have MNT in place, the dietitian or nutritionist will refer the participant to his or her provider and suggest an MNT referral to a clinical dietitian.
Does WIC help women between pregnancies?
We provide all postpartum women information and guidance about preconception care so their next baby can be healthy. Preconception care is recommended for all women of childbearing age. Since many pregnancies are unplanned, it’s important for women to be healthy at all times.
Why are you concerned with immunization?
We are a nutrition program and more. South LA Health Projects has created and implemented immunization projects since 1993, not long after a measles epidemic severely impacted the children of South Los Angeles. Soon after, we began taking steps to increase childhood immunization rates.
We encourage all our adult WIC participants to make healthy decisions, including good decisions about immunization, that will impact themselves and their families. It is critical for people of all ages–and those around them–to be properly immunized according to medically established recommendations.
At our WIC centers we educate mothers about immunization and track the immunizations of our young WIC participants. Read about immunization efforts at our WIC centers>>
How can I speak to one of your professional staff?
Please access our contact list here>>