What is WIC?
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
How does WIC support breastfeeding?
Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economical and emotional benefits to a mother and her 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. WIC has historically promoted breastfeeding to all pregnant women as the optimal infant feeding choice, unless medically contraindicated.
- WIC mothers choosing to breastfeed are provided 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 can receive breast pumps, breast shells or nursing supplementers to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding.