How does WIC determine if you are at risk nutritionally?
The WIC office conducts an easy health screening to determine if you qualify for services. The health screening is free to participants. During the health screening, you will meet with a physician, nutritionist, or nurse who will determine if you or your child is “at risk” nutritionally. They will ask you questions about the meals that you prepare on a daily basis and they use Federal guidelines to determine if you are at risk nutritionally. To qualify for services you must either have medically based risks or diet-based risks.
Medical risks include:
- Mother’s age
- Previous pregnancy history complications
- Poor previous pregnancy outcomes
Diet-Based risks include:
- Inadequate patterns in your diet
What type of food would I receive?
WIC provides families with a range of foods depending on the package that you are entitled to receive. The health screening is used to help determine which food package that you and your family qualifies for. Some of the items that you may be eligible for include:
- Breakfast Cereal
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Fish (Breastfeeding mothers only)
- Peanut Butter
- Infant Formula
- Infant Cereal
- Baby Food – Fruits and Vegetables
- Baby Food – Meat (breastfed babies only)
How can WIC help breastfeeding mothers?
WIC is now providing breastfeeding mothers with breastfeeding peer counseling. The goal of their program is to help encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies. They also want to help moms continue to breastfeed their baby. WIC accepts breastfeeding referrals for support, helps increase public awareness and support of breastfeeding mothers, and helps promote breastfeeding. You can still get WIC support if you plan on exclusively or partially breastfeeding you baby. The program can design food packages so that they are tailored based upon each families specific needs.
What happens if I decide to request formula?
The WIC office will help you determine why you are requesting formula. WIC will have to determine why your baby needs formula instead of breastmilk before WIC gives your family vouchers for formula. WIC tries to help fix any breastfeeding issues before giving into a mother’s request for formula and tries to encourage mom’s to continue breastfeeding. The WIC program is designed to provide support, lactation consultants, and referrals for other health care professionals as needed. Their main goal is to try to help a mother with her breastfeeding issues and struggles so that mom’s will continue to breastfeed their baby if possible. Some mothers’s may want to supplement formula due to low milk supply or other reasons. The WIC office wants to help you determine the provisions for formula. Based upon research, most of the time breastfeeding issues can be resolved and they have found that with added support it is very rare that a mother will decide discontinue breastfeeding all together after receiving help from a lactation consultant.
Does your local WIC office support breastfeeding mother’s?