Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding promotion and support is an important part of the WIC Program since breastfeeding is known to:
- Improve infants nutritional status
- Reduce infant illness
- Reduce infant allergies
- Improve infant oral health
- Significantly lowers infant mortality and morbidity rates
- Reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers for the mother
- Saves money
The goal of the WIC Program Breastfeeding services is to ensure that all pregnant women be encouraged to breastfeed since all women have the ability to breastfeed unless it is contraindicated for health reasons. Benefits breastfeeding WIC participants receive may include individual breastfeeding counseling and support, educational materials, additional foods and the distribution of breast pumps to support breastfeeding through times of mother infant separation such as for work or school. Exclusively breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in WIC longer than mothers who don’t.
The Arizona WIC Program also offers a free 24-hour breastfeeding helpline at 1-(800) 833-4642 . The helpline is staffed by Certified Lactation Consultants.