Breastfeeding

FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES MESSAGE:

Due to COVID-19 the following precautionary measures are being taken to prevent unnecessary exposure for staff and families we serve:

  • WIC:  All WIC offices are closing to the public. If you currently have an appointment scheduled, the WIC clinic staff will be contacting you to complete it over the phone. You will continue to receive and be able to use your benefits as long as your certification is active. Contact your local WIC clinic for remote service, or call the State Office at 1-800-433-4298 for assistance. The State Office will also be available by email at montanawicprogram@mt.gov.
  • Home Visiting (Parents as Teachers, First Year Initiative, SafeCare, Montana Asthma Program): Home visiting staff will be doing all home visits by phone or video conferencing depending on the guidance of each program. Home visitors will contact current and newly referred clients individually to schedule remote appointment times. It is our goal to continue to provide as many of our families as possible with the resources they need, so please call us at 406-454-6950 with questions or concerns.
  • Car Seat Program: We will not provide car seats or car seat checkups until further notice. 
  • Parenting Classes: All parenting classes have been temporarily cancelled. Current participants will be notified once classes resume. 
  • CONNECT Referral System: Onboarding will continue; however, in-person training and meetings are cancelled. Trainings will take place remotely.
  • Foster Child Health Program: Nurses will not provide in-person visits to foster parents, but will remain in contact as necessary.

Please call us at 406-454-6950 with questions or concerns.

WIC recognizes breastfeeding as the ideal nutrition for infants – the best practice is to breastfeed your baby for at least one year. The benefits of breastfeeding for your child include:

  • Developing a unique mother-child bond
  • Protecting your baby from illness
  • Providing the perfect food for your baby

►WIC provides breastfeeding information, support, and counseling to mothers during pregnancy. After delivery, our Certified Lactation Counselors continue to assist mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed. No appointment is necessary. For moms who breastfeed, WIC provides extra nutritious foods. Plus, if you return to work or school, breast pumps may be available.

List of Local Breastfeeding Resources

Better for Your Baby

  • Protects your baby from obesity
  • Lowers the risk of your baby developing allergies
  • Easy to digest and full of the nutrients your baby needs
  • Protects your baby from getting sick and helps prevent ear infections
  • Lowers your baby’s risk of having diabetes, asthma, and cancer
  • Helps develop healthy attachment between mother and child

Better for You

  • Helps you lose weight – breastfeeding burns 500-700 calories a day
  • Protects you from iron deficiency and helps you feel stronger
  • Reduces your risk of getting cancer, including breast, uterine, ovarian, and endometrial cancers
  • Reduces your risk of osteoporosis
  • Saves you hundreds of dollars that you would have to spend on formula

Benefits of Breastfeeding

There are many benefits to breastfeeding. Some are more beneficial to the mother, while others are more important to the baby.

  • Breastfeeding requires no special preparation.
  • Breastmilk is fresh, clean and at the right temperature.
  • Breastmilk is nutritionally superior to any alternative.
  • Breastmilk is the least allergic of any food for a baby.
  • Breastmilk has many special substances that protect against infection.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be overfed.
  • Breastfeeding causes the mother’s uterus to contract. This helps her body return to its pre-pregnancy shape.
  • Breastfeeding promotes good jaw and tooth development.
  • Breastmilk is easy to digest and is gentle on the baby’s stomach.
  • Breastfeeding may help protect the mother against breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding generally costs less than commercial formulas.
  • Since there are usually no containers to wash, heat or dispose of with breastmilk, breastfeeding may have a positive environmental impact.
  • Breastfeeding promotes a close mother-baby bond.
  • Breastfeeding may help a mother return to her pre-pregnancy weight sooner.

For more information or immediate assistance with breastfeeding questions contact the Cascade City-county WIC Program at 454-6953 or wic@cascadecountymt.gov.