The feeding of human milk to young children and the practice of breastfeeding has been shown to improve the health, immune system, and the development of children. The benefits of breastfeeding, both for children and for women, last long after breastfeeding has ended.
The West Virginia Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is dedicated to informing families about the importance of breastfeeding - both as the optimal source of nutrition and for a child's improved growth and development. WIC provides breastfeeding promotion and encouragement for pregnant women who are considering how best to care for their babies. WIC also provides on-going breastfeeding information and support for new mothers after baby has arrived.
Because children are healthier when they are fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months, WIC encourages fully breastfeeding for that time period. The WIC Program provides for an increased food package to breastfeeding women who use no commercial formulas from WIC.
Trained WIC nutritionists, board-certified lactation consultants and breastfeeding peer counselors are available at all local WIC clinics to help mothers, and entire families, learn how to have a satisfying and healthy breastfeeding experience.
The WIC Program has board-certified lactation consultants on staff to act as breastfeeding information resources in their communities.
WIC is dedicated to building support for the practice of breastfeeding among entire communities - health care providers, employers, neighbors, churches. WIC publishes Breastfeeding Update, a newsletter for health care professionals with clinically useful breastfeeding information. Social marketing research for the WIC Program has shown that support from those in their communities gives women the confidence and pride to begin and continue to breastfeed their children.
For breastfeeding information and additional resources, contact the Breastfeeding Education Coordinator, Office of Nutrition Services, 304-558-0030.