WIC Encouraging Breastfeeding?

Because we donate breast pumps to moms, we do encounter some wonderful mothers that find themselves needing to use the services of WIC.  I have never had to deal with the program myself, however, knowing that they do service many moms and babies, I have recommended that some moms look into their services.

I was unaware of how the program worked, but assumed that considering the need, then there were be a federal program or more of a unified program.  Yet, looking at this article from KCUR.org, it appears that each WIC does it own little thing.

Reading the article, I was upset with the wording that they used, hopefully it is the wording that I am worried about.  The article states that they are going to do a much greater encouragement of breastfeeding among the mothers.  Yet, the mother’s who do breastfeed will get an “enhanced” food package, which will include more fruits and vegetables.

I am certainly one to encourage moms to breastfeed as long as they can.  However, should we not allow a mother to receive healthy foods because she does not or cannot breastfeed?  It seems that they could find a different way to encourage moms to breastfeed than holding back healthy foods from those who do not.  Don’t we all need to eat healthier, or have the opportunity to, rather than it be using as give and take?

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  1. Charlotte Benfield says:

    WIC gives mothers who breastfeed more foods because they do not have to spend so much on the formula. For example, I was getting a check for a $10 allowance of fresh vegetables/ fruit a month, whereas a formula feeding mother may only get a $6 check. I was also getting much more baby food for my daughter than formula feeding mothers. The WIC office explained that they are still spending more on formula fed infants since formula is so expensive, but they can offer more foods to breastfeeding mothers since they don’t have to cover the cost of the formula.
    My only complaint is that the vouchers for myself have ended as my daughter turned a year old last week. However, I still plan on breastfeeding past a year. I know that babies stop drinking formula at a year old, but I thought that it was beneficial to breastfeed past a year and maybe WIC should support this idea?? Just a thought.

  2. Charlotte Benfield says:

    When I had my daughter a year ago, I had to pump because she wouldn’t latch on. While in the hospital, I was allowed to use their double, electric pumps, which work really well. However, the hospital sent me home with a cheap, hand-held pump. I have tried using hand-held pumps with my other children and have never been very successful with them. A nurse at the hospital suggested contacting the local WIC office since she had heard that they will allow mothers to borrow their hospital-grade pumps. After calling the WIC office, I was told that they would only allow me to use one of their pumps if I had paperwork to prove that I needed the pump because I was either in school or working. Well, I wasn’t doing either, but I still needed the pump because my daughter wouldn’t latch on. I think that this is ridiculous! True the pumps are expensive, but the type that they use are the hospital type that can be used over and over again (just the tubing and pieces are changed out). If the WIC offices are really trying to promote breastfeeding, shouldn’t they offer these pumps to any mother who needs them? Besides the health benefits to the child, breastfeeding also saves WIC loads of $$$$ – just go and price the cost of formula!

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