These days, it is common knowledge that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. It is quite clear that breastfeeding provides a multitude of health, nutritional, economic and emotional benefits to both 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 and WIC has always promoted breastfeeding as the best choice to all pregnant women.
The SEARHC WIC Program begins breastfeeding support even before a baby is born. Early on, we ask an expectant mom how she plans to feed her baby. There is never any judgment if a mom chooses all formula or a combination of formula and breast milk,
The main goal is to educate and facilitate breastfeeding. SEARHC’s WIC Program has resources and information to help new moms understand why breastfeeding is the best choice and the support available to assist them to breastfeed their babies.
New mothers also have access to loaner breast pumps through the WIC Program and MEH OB nurses. Some additional advantages to breastfeeding while participating in the WIC program include:
- Expecting mothers receive information through counseling and breastfeeding educational materials.
- Breastfeeding mothers receive follow-up support through peer counselors.
- Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers.
- Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants receive an enhanced food package.
- Breastfeeding mothers are eligible for free supplies to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding.
Some women may also need extra help while breastfeeding, and SEARHC can connect breastfeeding moms with a Breast Feeding Peer Counselor or a local lactation consultant if there are any additional questions, concerns, or complications.
For more information about the WIC Program and what breastfeeding support and assistance the program offers, visit http://searhc.org/women-infants-children, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the main SEARHC WIC office in Juneau at (907) 463-4099 or toll-free, (800) 330-2229.