WIC is a health and nutrition program designed to help women, infants and children who have special medical or nutritional needs.
WIC may be able to help you if:
You are pregnant, breastfeeding, or recently had a baby,
You have an infant or child under 5 years of age,
You have a low income or no income, and
You have a nutrition or health problem.
WIC provides qualified applicants with:
Nutritious foods to supplement your diet,
Information on healthy eating, and
Referrals for health care.
To see if you qualify for WIC, contact your local office.
*The WIC Program is an equal opportunity provider.
South Central Public Health District offers breastfeeding mothers counseling and guidance through WIC (Women, Infants and Children's Supplemental Food Program).
Breastfeeding Gives a Head Start in Education
Breastfeeding enhances optimal brain development provided by nutrients and interaction.
Breastfeeding protects babies from illnesses that can cause malnutrition, and learning and hearing difficulties.
Breastfeeding ensures frequent interaction and exposes babies to language, positive social behavior and significant stimuli.
Breastfeeding enables better visual development and visual acuity leading to reading and learning readiness.
"Breast milk can 'dry up' just like that."
Some changes make it seem as if Mom is producing less milk.
Baby is having a growth spurt - nurse more frequently and things will be back to normal soon.
Mom's breasts do not seem full - this is normal. As long as baby is satisfied and growing well, do not be concerned.
Baby is not feeding well - is the baby taking a bottle or pacifier? This can make your body produce less milk. Instead, try to nurse more frequently.
"It is normal for breastfeeding to hurt."
There may be a little tenderness the first couple of days, but it should be only temporary. Soreness that lasts more than a couple days is not normal. Call your WIC clinic or health care provider for help.
"Many women do not produce enough milk."
Most women produce plenty of milk. If there is a problem with milk supply, it is usually because baby is not latched on correctly, or not nursing often enough.
A minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved annually if breastfeeding were increased from current levels (64% in-hospital, 29% at 6 months) to those recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General (75% in-hospital and 50% at 6 months). This figure is probably low because it represents cost savings from the treatment of three childhood illnesses: ear infections, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis (diseases of the digestive system).
How do I know if my baby is latched on correctly?
The baby is facing mom's breast so that he doesn't have to turn his head.
The baby has taken a large mouthful of breast - not just the nipple - into his mouth.
The baby is pulled in so close to mom that his chin is pressed into the breast and his nose may rest on the breast.
Once he is latched-on, the baby's lips are flanged out and relaxed.
To schedule an appointment to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and proper techniques to use, contact your local public health office.
WIC participants are screened for program eligibility every six months. Pregnant WIC participants are eligible for the WIC program for the duration of their pregnancy.
A health screening is performed for each client that includes a diet history, weight and height, and hemoglobin tests.
WIC staff review this health information and compare it to standardized tables to determine how healthy the client is in these specific areas.
If a client is found to have health risk factors, i.e. underweight, overweight, low hemoglobin, etc., re-screening is performed two months later to reassess the client's health.
Some clients are referred to the WIC Registered Dietitian to discuss health concerns that can be modified with diet changes.
WIC clients are asked to attend nutrition education classes to help maintain or improve the health of their families.
Nutrition education classes are written by Registered Dietitians and generally taught by WIC Clinical Assistants.
Classes cover general nutrition topics such as the importance of protein, Vitamin A, and stress management. Other topics include first foods for babies and baby bottle tooth decay prevention techniques.
WIC classes also provide information on breastfeeding topics.
WIC focuses on five main nutrients that are important to the health of all people. They are not the only nutrients needed to stay healthy, but they are often found to be low in the diets of women, infants, and children who may not eat a variety of foods each day. These five main nutrients are:
Protein - a vital nutrient needed in moderate amounts to help with the growth and maintenance of our bodies.
Calcium - a mineral that makes our bones and teeth hard and strong. Calcium also helps our heart beat, muscles work, blood cells clot, and nervous system work properly.
Iron - an element critical in human nutrition because it helps our bodies develop red blood cells as well as assist in other body functions.
Vitamin A - important for normal growth, healthy skin and tissues, and proper bone development. It is also important for good vision, especially in dim light or darkness.
Vitamin C - has several important functions in the body such as helping to form bones, teeth, healthy skin, and tissue. It also plays a big role in wound healing and maintenance of strong blood vessels.
The following links are provided for your convenience to access the WIC application forms on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Women, Infants and Children web page. These links will take visitors directly to the respective form, which is in PDF format.
For more information, please contact the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in your local public health office. You may also contact WIC at (208) 737-5923 in the Twin Falls office.
How To Get Food Help
A brochure that lists all of the food assistance programs available for people of all ages from the United States Department of Agriculture