A lot of CafeMom users are probably familiar with WIC, either through friends or having used it themselves.
Officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC is a food and nutrition program that provides nutritious foods, formula, and nutrition information to low income women with young children. The program is federally funded, but the guidelines including how much food is given to qualifying women and their families varies from state to state.
This week it was announced that Missouri's WIC program will make significant changes in order to promote breast-feeding and increase the amount of babies being breast-fed. Several other states, including Washington, Illinois, California, and Minnesota, are making similar changes. Here's how it works:
In Missouri, the new program will increase the amount of food provided to mothers who breast-feed their babies full-time in an effort "to better promote and support the establishment of successful long-term breast-feeding."
In other words, women who breast-feed will get more money than women who are not breastfeeding.
- Women who fully breast-feeding will receive $80 per month to purchase food.
- Women who breast-feed and supplement with formula will receive $60 per month.
- Women who are not breast-feeding under the new program will receive $50 per month for food and items.
- Moreover, babies that are fully breast-fed under the new program will receive $75 per month, while babies not breast-feeding will receive $25 per month. (These amounts for the babies do not include formula.)
In addition, more healthier food options will be available to families under the new program, including fresh fruits and vegetables, soy milk, tofu, and a variety of whole grain foods such as whole wheat bread.
To find a WIC program in your area, visit The Food and Nutrition Service Web site.
Do you think this is an effective way to promote breastfeeding? Is this how the WIC program works in your state?