Breastfeeding Is a Priority in the WIC Program
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
- Trained staff
WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding as an important part of the nutrition service benefits to meet its mission of safeguarding the health of low-income women, infants and children. The reports are a compilation of fiscal year breastfeeding performance measurements, based on program participation data of the number of partially and fully breastfed infants for each WIC state and local agency.
Loving Support Award of Excellence
The Loving Support 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, Premiere, and 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 WIC Breastfeeding Model for Peer Counseling for a successful peer counseling program.
The application period will open once annually. The 2020 application period opens on Oct. 7, 2019 and closes on Dec. 13, 2019.
- Access the application to apply
- The Loving Support Awards of Excellence Awardees
- Breastfeeding Policy and Guidance (July 2016)
- Health & Nutrition Information for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women (ChooseMyPlate.gov)
- Tips for Breastfeeding Moms (English and Spanish) (fact sheet)
- Legislative History of Breastfeeding Promotion Requirements in WIC
- Breastfeeding Promotion Consortium (BPC)
- Publications - Resources for WIC Clinics