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Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

Breastfeeding Promotion and Support in WIC

Last Published: 10/13/2016

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 mother and 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.

FY 2015 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report

Released July 2016

FY 2014 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report

Released September 2015

FY 2013 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report

Released October 2014

FY 2012 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report
Released December 2013

FY 2011 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report 
Released October 2012

FY 2010 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report 
Released December 2011


Loving Support logo

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) announce the Loving Support Award of Excellence program. The award program was established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities.

The intent is to provide models and motivate other local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants.

Three levels of excellence will be recognized and awarded: Gold, Gold Premiere, and Gold Elite.

Who can apply:

Local WIC agencies that have operated a peer counseling program for at least one year, which meets all of the required core components of the FNS Loving Support© Model for a successful peer counseling program.

The application period will open once annually. The 2016 application period opens on October 14, 2016 and closes on December 14, 2016.

Application Details and To Apply

The Loving Support Awards of Excellence Awardees

Institute of Medicine Report: "Updating the USDA National Breastfeeding Campaign - Workshop Summary"
Released Sept. 21, 2011

WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Study Final Implementation Report
June 2010
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) undertook the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling study to understand both the way that breastfeeding peer counseling grants are being used, and their impact on breastfeeding among WIC participants. It will ultimately provide a comprehensive and systematic picture of the implementation and impact of the Loving Support Peer Counseling program. This initial report, which looked at grants provided in FY 2007 and 2009, focuses on implementation, describing the process by which States implemented the Loving Support model, and how funds are being used. It also describes general characteristics and operational issues in a sample of local WIC agencies implementing the program, and explores five agencies in more depth through local case studies.  A second study, on the impact of an enhancement of the Loving Support Peer Counseling Program on breastfeeding outcomes for WIC participants, is underway.

Contact a State Breastfeeding Coordinator

Breastfeeding Policy and Guidance
Issued July, 2016
"Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work" is the name of the WIC breastfeeding promotion campaign, which is national in scope and being implemented at the State agency level.  The goals of the campaign are to: encourage WIC participants to initiate and continue breastfeeding; increase referrals to WIC for breastfeeding support; increase general public acceptance and support of breastfeeding; and provide technical assistance to WIC State and local agency professionals in the promotion of breastfeeding.
Using Loving Support to Build Breastfeeding-Friendly Communities
Using Loving Support to Implement Breastfeeding Peer Counseling
"Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding" Project 
Resources available as part of a continual effort to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among African American women by involving fathers in breastfeeding promotion efforts.
Order online
"Breastfeeding: A Magical Bond of Love"   
Research-based, culturally-sensitive breastfeeding resources that address perceived barriers to breastfeeding among Hispanic participants.
Order online
Health & Nutrition Information for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women (links to website)

Daily Food Plans for Moms

Tips for Breastfeeding Moms (English and Spanish) (fact sheet in PDF)

Legislative History of Breastfeeding Promotion Requirements in WIC
Current Federal Requirements (updated November 2009)
Breastfeeding Promotion Consortium (BPC)
FNS Breastfeeding Mothers' Room
Publications - Resources for WIC Clinics

For more breastfeeding information, contact your State agency’s breastfeeding coordinator 
or visit the National Women’s Health Information Center web site at