Breast milk is best for your baby! The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition; in addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness
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.
Benefits of 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.
How Can WIC Help You With Breastfeeding?
- 5 Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs): Certified Lactation Counselors have successfully completed a 40 hour training course and passed a test administered by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice.
- 1 Breastfeeding Peer Counselor: A breastfeeding counselor can teach others about the benefits of breastfeeding and help women with basic breastfeeding challenges and questions. A “peer” means a person has breastfed her own baby and is available to help other mothers.
- One-on-One Personal Support: CLCs are available to help with latch and other breastfeeding challenges during regular office hours. In addition, our Breastfeeding Peer Counselor can be available by email, text messaging, or by phone.
- Breast Pump Program: WIC may help with breast pumps for working mothers or mothers attending school IF a participant’s own insurance doesn’t cover one.
- Breastfeeding Education: CLCs teach pregnant women and new mothers how to have a successful experience with breastfeeding.
- Nutritious Food Benefits: Exclusively breastfeeding moms receive extra foods from WIC to support their nutritional needs. Exclusively breastfed babies receive additional fruits, vegetables, meat and cereal from 6 through 12 months of age.
Breastfeeding Food Benefits vs. Formula-feeding Food Benefits
***Main photo courtesy of Kristi Sidor Golik***