WIC's Breastfeeding Program
The WIC Program and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare actively promote and protect the health and safety of Idaho families through the promotion and support of breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Human breast milk is uniquely composed to meet the needs of human infants. Breastfeeding provides many benefits to both baby and mom. They include:
Benefits for Baby
- Breastfed babies are less likely to be overweight.
- Breast milk has antibodies to help protect infants from bacteria and viruses.
- Breastfed babies score higher on IQ tests.
- Most babies find breast milk easier to digest than formula.
- Babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illness and have fewer hospitalizations.
- Some studies suggest that the incidence in SIDS, diabetes, lymphoma and leukemia are lower in breastfed babies.
Benefits for Mom
- Nursing uses extra calories, making it easier to lose the pounds of pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of Osteoporosis.
- A mother can provide her baby with immediate satisfaction by providing her breast milk when her baby is hungry.
- Breastfeeding promotes a good Mom and baby bond.
- Nursing mothers who work miss less work because their infants are sick less often.
Adapted from The National Women's Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 10/2005.
Breastfeeding Support Services Available Through WIC
The WIC Program and Eastern Idaho Public Health District promote and support breastfeeding. Through the WIC program, clients receive breastfeeding information and support from certified lactation consultans and PEER Counselors. PEER Counselors are WIC mothers with breastfeeding training and experience. They teach classes, offer information through mailings and phone calls. They also make home visits when needed. This is a free service to WIC moms, with the goal of providing them with a source of information and encouragement, in the end leading to breastfeeding success.
The Surgeon General Supports breastfeeding in her Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010. For more information, click here to read the full report.
The American Academy of Pediatrics supports breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months with the addition of solids for at least the first year of life. For more information, read the AAP Statement.
If you have questions about breastfeeding or would like more information about breastfeeding, you can call your local WIC office.
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