The Ohio WIC program promotes breastfeeding as normal and natural infant feeding. Why? We will explore the many reasons why WIC promotes breastfeeding.
- Reason No. 1 – All major health professional associations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend breastmilk over artificial baby food.
Complete AAP Policy Statement can be found here
Ohio WIC also supports breastfeeding by teaching mothers how to breastfeed and overcome problems. Following are tips to get off to a good start.
- Tip No. 1 – Take a breastfeeding class before you deliver.
- Tip No. 2- Tell your doctor, your baby’s doctor and the hospital staff you want your baby to get only your breastmilk while in the hospital.
- Tip No. 3 – Let the hospital staff and your doctor know you want to hold your baby skin-to-skin on your chest for 90 minutes right after delivery. Many times a newborn baby held skin to skin will latch on to the breast all by itself. Tests can be done with your baby on your chest or can wait until after 90 minutes.
- Tip No. 4 – Keep your baby with you in your hospital room. Did you know new mothers are visited by hospital staff an average of 50 times a night? Putting your baby in the nursery will not help you get a good night’s sleep. Keeping your baby with you will help you learn when the baby wants to eat and help you fall in more love with your baby.
- Tip No. 5 – Newborn babies have very small tummies. They need to eat about every one and a half to three hours to stay full. Watch for signs that your baby is hungry (Click Hunger Signs – smacking lips or sucking sounds; bringing one or both hands to mouth; moving head from side to side; making fussing sounds; making faces like the baby is going to cry; crying: it is hard to feed a crying baby, so be sure to feed the baby before the baby starts to cry.) Remember – crying is the last hunger sign – so be sure feed your baby before she/he starts to cry. Click Calming Your Fussy Baby for additional tips.
- Tip No. 6 – Try using the asymmetrical or off-center latch. Since your baby milks the breast with his jaw and tongue, this latch will help your baby drink more milk by allowing him/her to take in more of your breast with his lower jaw. It is a very comfortable latch – even if your nipples are already sore. Click Four Steps to a Great Latch! for step instructions and pictures. Be sure and ask to see the Lactation Consultant if you have any questions about breastfeeding or latching on.
- Tip No. 7 – Join a support group like La Leche League International. To visit their website go to www.lalecheleague.org. You can also call your local WIC office as soon as possible to let them know you have delivered.
The Breastfeeding Peer Helper Program is a program designed to enhance the breastfeeding support services provided by WIC. Breastfeeding peer helpers are women in the community with personal breastfeeding experience. They provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding education and support which in turns helps mothers successfully reach their breastfeeding goals. Peer Helpers assist by establishing a connection with families, helping mothers in managing common concerns, providing ongoing encouragement and offering comfort outside the usual workday. The development of the Breastfeeding Peer Helper program has increased breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among the WIC population.
WIC can help supply manual and electric breast pumps to eligible breastfeeding mothers when they need to go back to work or school.