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Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

Breastfeeding Is a Priority in the WIC Program

Last Published: 10/27/2016

WIC mothers are strongly encouraged to breastfeed their infants unless there is a medical reason not to.  All WIC staff are trained to promote breastfeeding and provide the necessary support new breastfeeding mothers and infants need for success.  WIC State and local agencies are required by WIC Program regulations to create policies and procedures to ensure breastfeeding support and assistance is provided throughout the prenatal and postpartum period, particularly when the mother is most likely to need assistance.


Breastfeeding Promotion and Support in WIC Includes:  

•      Anticipatory guidance, counseling, and breastfeeding educational materials

•      A greater quantity and variety of foods

•      Longer participation in the Program

•      Breastfeeding aids such as breast pumps, breast shells, etc.

•      Trained staff 

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


The main objectives of this report are to describe how Loving Support© Peer Counseling is currently implemented in WIC State and local agencies and to draw comparisons with the program’s implementation in 2008, when the last study was conducted. Another key objective of the study is to examine how State agencies used the increased funds. At the time of the last study, Federal grant funding for peer counseling totaled about $15 million annually. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, the amount increased to $80 million, and subsequently declined to $60 million in FY 2014.

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.

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

Community Partners
Loving Support 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 
Breastfeeding Promotion Consortium (BPC)
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