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WIC and what they can do for you...

Updated: Sep 29, 2019

In this post we wanted to talk a little bit about one of the most widely known maternal and childhood community organizations, WIC. WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children and is organized under Maternal Family Health Services. Many people think that WIC is 'food stamps for pregnant women' which is an aspect of what they do, however, it is so much more.

For a woman who meets eligibility requirements, as soon as she finds out she is pregnant, she can go into her local WIC clinic to receive treatment. Yes, that's what I said, it is not just checks for food, these women get weights checked and monitored at each visit as well as their hemoglobin levels checked to make sure her iron status is within normal limits.

The nutritionists there will also counsel the women on healthy eating habits, cooking methods, and overall lifestyle practices. This is in regards to increasing fruits and vegetables, safe food handling, and smoking cessation---to name a few.

Further into pregnancy, this may be the place where they have their first conversation about breastfeeding. Many women have information from friends, family, the internet, etc. that may or may not be accurate. Many times---health care providers ask what a woman's plan is to feed her baby, but does not give advice or scientific evidence to support either way. Here, women can have a discussion, be given resources and evidence to help make a decision.

"But don't they give out formula?"

Yes they do, but they also give incentives to breastfeed. In fact, once the baby is born, the mother receives more on her checks for exclusively breastfeeding and will continue to receive checks for longer than her non-breastfeeding counterparts. They also loan out breast pumps for women who are going back to work. Lastly, they have specialists and breastfeeding peer counselors to make sure that women are getting the support they need to continue breastfeeding.

So, no they do not just hand out checks for food and formula. They are actively promoting health for multiple generations and instilling healthy eating habits in the growing population. Here at Mamas Maternal Health, we support healthy mamas and their baby's and we support WIC and what they stand for! Collectively we are helping to improve health and wellness in the upcoming generations as well as normalizing and promoting breastfeeding.

Until next time!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors


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