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WIC moms what would you like to see???

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I'd like to hear from moms who have or currently do receive WIC while breastfeeding.

What kind of breastfeeding specific support are (did) you receiving? What kind of breastfeeding support would you like to (have) receive(d)? What are your thoughts on WIC breastfeeding classes? How/when did the WIC breastfeeding counselor contact you?

TIA!
post #2 of 38
just browsing and saw this...here are my answers:
What kind of breastfeeding specific support are (did) you receiving? I was able to borrow a breastpump (which is still sitting in the back of my closet, incidentally) : as a backup to the one I was renting from the hospital. I couldn't use it at work without major inconvenience, because it didn't have a battery pack, bu it still cam in handy in a pinch. I obviously got the bf'ing food package, but unfotunately i will lose it this month since ds turns 1 on the 17th.
What kind of breastfeeding support would you like to (have) receive(d)? I think making it clear that the breastpumps are available, and not having such stringetn guidelines on who can borrow them, would be good. I do understand the reason behind the 6-week rule, but the fact is that i went back to work before my ds was 6 weeks, and WIC would not give me the pump until at least 6 weeks pp, to establish bf'ing first. I HAD to start pumping around 2 weeks, to build a stash. I also was told that I couldn't get a breastpump without a doctor's note....., although that was eventually cleared up.

What are your thoughts on WIC breastfeeding classes? I have been in the waiting room during parts of the bf'ing classes although I never got to go (ds was born before my scheduled class, lol). From what i have heard at those times, they are pretty good, but I think they should present the bf'ing as more of a matter-of-fact thing rather than this big novel undertaking that must be endured until 1 year old. More like, "since we're assuming you're bf'ing for as long as your little one desires, here are some tips for making it go smoothly." And extended bf'ing needs to be mentioned. every single class i have sat in on metnions 1 year as the goal. I understand that 1 year is a great goal and a great achievement, but i think a lot of mamas hear the one year and don't even consider going past that. More emphasis needs to be put on that. And hte bf'ing food package extended accordingly. maybe to 18 months, or 2 years, if the LO is still nursing.

How/when did the WIC breastfeeding counselor contact you? never, i always have to track her down and it ususally takeds a couple of days. in her defense, when i do finally catch her, she is very friendly and genuinely wants to help. I think she's just overloaded.

HTH!!!

ETA: gosh, this sounds like a lot of complaining.....I don't mean it that way at all. Overall i have had a positive ex[perience at WIC, minus an awkward moment over the whole vaccine thing....lol. These are just my observations on what could be improved. but generally speeaking they're doing a good job! oh a thumbs up for the bf'ing info that i see laying around in spanish!
post #3 of 38
What kind of breastfeeding specific support are (did) you receiving?
None, despite asking for it.


What kind of breastfeeding support would you like to (have) receive(d)?
Peer counselor, breastfeeding group, even just a two minute chat with an LC or counselor to tell me I am doing okay. They make me see a nutritionist that we don't need, but won't let me attend the classes or talk to anyone about breastfeeding.

What are your thoughts on WIC breastfeeding classes?
Until i came to MDC, I had no idea these existed. At our WIC, to my knowledge, all they have is a nutriton class, but only for people who don't speak english fluently (and as it turns out, only those who attend class get project fresh coupons. If I spoke spanish I guess I could receive those much appreciated coupons.)

How/when did the WIC breastfeeding counselor contact you?
Never, and I would have cried tears of joy if someone had. It is hard to be the only breastfeeding mama in your circle. my SIL breastfeeds but we aren't close for other reasons. I would have LOVED to talk to a real person about the challenges and joys of nursing a baby. (Not that yall aren't real, but you know.)
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUmama View Post
What kind of breastfeeding specific support are (did) you receiving?
None. Can't say I've ever gotten any from them either. I've been on WIC in two states over the course of nursing 6 kids and I really could have used some support from SOMEWHERE for the first three. I recall being encouraged to wean when I ran into problems with my first, because they'd "pay for all that formula." I have to be fair and point out that I have never asked for support with my 4th, 5th or 6th, because I haven't needed it.

I always find it kind of amusing and kind of sad that the WIC office staffers are shocked and amazed when I tell them I nursed #4 until his second birthday, and only weaned because I was pregnant and the milk dried up.

Quote:
What kind of breastfeeding support would you like to (have) receive(d)?
There needs to be more benefits to being a nursing mom. Just having extended benefits for mom until the first birthday is not enough. And only offering carrots, tuna and a bit more milk, juice, beans, etc, is not much of an incentive. I hate to sound like it's all about the food benefits, but there are a lot of women out there, esp underpriveleged or working-poor, who think they're not getting much support OR benefit from the BFing and that might be a small incentive to continue.

I'd also like to see a network of nursing moms associated with WIC who could make you feel like you are a part of something larger than yourself when you're a nursing mom. A lot of mothers, young and underclassed, feel as though they are not a part of the "mom club" when all the others are walking around with propped bottles and they have to excuse themselves from the rest to feed. Some community-oriented support groups maybe... anything to get moms to nurse longer would be outstanding.

Quote:
What are your thoughts on WIC breastfeeding classes?
Did I miss something? I do the "nutrition classes" but I don't think I ever attended a breastfeeding class.

Quote:
How/when did the WIC breastfeeding counselor contact you?
I was not aware they had specific BFing counselors. I thought all nutrition aides were trained to answer BFing questions. I've never been contacted by a counselor who was associated exclusively with BFing. When I think BF support, I think LLL and not WIC.

It may be that I have not sought out the information, or it could be that there is less BFing support in my state, I'm not sure. I just never got the impression that it was that much of a priority for them. There's posters and pamphlets galore related to BFing in all the offices but not much personalized involvement.

I am very thankful for all the benefits I've gotten over the many years I've used WIC (except that crappy pump they gave me, that thing was worse than useless) but as I watch them trim the choices and cut the funding year after year, I wonder if it's enough for moms not experienced enough to stick with it (BFing).
post #5 of 38
I get a breast pump rental for a year, that's it for breastfeeding support. But they might have other resources available, I just haven't needed any help :

I'd really like to see a food package that isn't so heavily dairy based, though. My oldest had real problems when I ate any dairy at all, and I can't drink milk anyway, so there goes most of the food.
post #6 of 38
I'd like to see every pregnant or nursing mom who goes to WIC be given a referral to the local LLL group.
post #7 of 38
I know that the BF support program at my local WIC is very much advanced.

I had a BF peer counselor who contacted me once a month to discuss any questions/problems/concerns that I might have. I was loaned a Medela Pump for a year, given a Medela Harmony pump right after DD was born to use for occasional outings. Plenty of referrals to LLL, lots of information, a fully furnished and comfy breastfeeding room for Mamas to use.

It would have been nice if they had a IBCLC on staff or on call for questions that the Peer counselors or other staff were unable to answer.

The WIC food packages as they are now are a problem with the emphasis on dairy, but I know now that they are changing to a degree in the not-so-distant future.
post #8 of 38
I think I'd like to see
1. Breastfeeding counsellors/mentors who actually know what they are talking about and if they don't have an answer, can refer to someone who does
2. Not being asked at every visit whether we need formula coupons even though LittleOne is over 6 weeks old.
3. Less emphasis on dairy foods
4. Allowing Mama to keep her supplemental foods as long as she is still nursing, even if past a year.
5. Have counsellors call new mamas to check on how breastfeeding is going and help them over "the hump"
6. More times for support group meetings. Why are they ALWAYS Tuesday mornings at 10 am. Some people actually have other commitments, such as a job or volunteer work.
post #9 of 38
1) Equal food packages/cost to FF mamas, it's only fair!

2) More than just carrots, tuna and beans as our 'incentive'

3) Packages go on past a year if the mama is still nursing

4) LC on staff to help if needed

They were really nice for me, I thought all the ladies were going to dance when I told them I was still bf'ing Aldria at our 1 year check up. They never once asked if I wanted formula, never once offered it, just said "Are you still nursing?" "Yup." "Oh thats FANTASTIC! You rock!!"
post #10 of 38
I am nursing my 18 month old. I was told by the WIC nutritionist that my milk no longer had ANY CALCIUM. I just said "Yes it does" and glared at the woman.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
I think I'd like to see
3. Less emphasis on dairy foods
4. Allowing Mama to keep her supplemental foods as long as she is still nursing, even if past a year.
To this I'd add more fruits and vegetables.

I also think some states have a similar program to the EBT cards and you can get one item or all of them for the month at one time instead of the checks.

I have heard of some people mentioning that they give price limits on items, so they allocate $4 for peanut butter, and if you want the organic version that is $5 then you just pay the extra dollar.
post #12 of 38
Wow it seems that the differences between programs are HUGE!

My office has always been SUPER great about encouraging BFing. I didn't get on the program until my son was 4 months old, but was always encouraged and told what a great job I was doing BFing. I did have a peer counselor contact me once but I didn't need help.

Now I am a peer counselor myself - there are 2 of us. We each teach a weekly Breastfeeding class, which all pregnant moms are supposed to take. It's a 15 min. video and 15 min. of other info (and Q&A). It is our role to also contact each prenatal at the beginning of their 3rd trimester to discuss BFing plans and talk about any concerns they have. Then we are to contact them again ASAP when they deliver and as much as needed afterwards, referring them to our IBCLC (on staff) if a problem is beyond our scope.

Our office is not stingy with pumps at all either. I was told that as a PC, I can use my judgment if a mom needs a pump for work/school/supply, but if she just wants one so partner can feed baby or she can have a break, to try to talk about it & determine if there's really a need. BUT if it's a matter of having a pump so she will keep BFing, we will give her a pump!

I think our office also has really high breastfeeding rates, which doesn't surprise me because everyone on staff is really knowledgable and encourages BFing!

We also give each pregnant mom a flyer for LLL and again after she delivers. Plus I mention it in the BF class and try to invite each one personally when I talk to her on the phone.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUmama View Post
I'd like to hear from moms who have or currently do receive WIC while breastfeeding.

What kind of breastfeeding specific support are (did) you receiving? What kind of breastfeeding support would you like to (have) receive(d)? What are your thoughts on WIC breastfeeding classes? How/when did the WIC breastfeeding counselor contact you?

TIA!
Benifits for nursing more then a year
post #14 of 38
I am extremely grateflu for getting WIC. It gives me so much every month!

the WIC people were alwys good to me. never gave me any grief over anything either. they also completely support my bfing as long as i want. i do miss the bf checkd though. i could really use some free carrots and tuna again. so i guess i just wish the benefits went to 2yrs instead of just 1.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
I also think some states have a similar program to the EBT cards and you can get one item or all of them for the month at one time instead of the checks.
I just got the EBT card a few months ago, and it is SO much more convenient than the checks. I can go and get a couple gallons of milk and some eggs, or a box of cereal and some juice... whatever, I don't need to stick to exactly what's on the check. And the dates run from the first to the end of the month, so I don't have checks expiring every other week.

Quote:
I have heard of some people mentioning that they give price limits on items, so they allocate $4 for peanut butter, and if you want the organic version that is $5 then you just pay the extra dollar.
The checks always had price limits. I remember having to put back a dozen of my eggs once because they'd raised the price of them so far that it exceeded the allowable expense on the check. But the card doesn't have any expense limits... you do, however, have to stick with the items specifically approved by WIC, i.e. no organic peanut butter, no cereal not listed on the Approved Foods list, and always the least cost brand.

I still get organic peanut butter (I can't eat the sugar-sweetened WIC-approved stuff), but I get it with the food stamps instead.
post #16 of 38
1. Benefits for BF past a year.
2. LC available
3. Allowed to purchase Organic (cereals/PB/eggs)
4. Fruits and Veg
5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amandaleigh37 View Post
Our office is not stingy with pumps at all either. I was told that as a PC, I can use my judgment if a mom needs a pump for work/school/supply, but if she just wants one so partner can feed baby or she can have a break, to try to talk about it & determine if there's really a need. BUT if it's a matter of having a pump so she will keep BFing, we will give her a pump!
-- My office is stingy.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSUmama View Post
How/when did the WIC breastfeeding counselor contact you?
There's a WIC breastfeeding counselor? I've been on WIC in three states and never knew there was a breastfeeding counselor!

Honestly, I'm not big on breastfeeding classes. I would have liked to have contact information for an LC given to me PRIOR to giving birth.

I also only found out that my state gives out free hand pumps, because I happened to mention something at one of my appointments about how my pump broke, and they said, "Oh, we have free hand pumps, do you need one?" They certainly don't volunteer that information anywhere. I know that not all states have the free pumps available.

In Hawaii, we would get little gifts for meeting certain breastfeeding milestones. Nothing special - a mini cooler, a t-shirt for the baby when she turned one, I think nursing pads were the first gift. I thought that was really nice.
post #18 of 38
I'm about to get back on WIC again (in case this babe needs rx formula to supplement w/ like the last 2) so we'll see. I never got any bfing help, but I never asked for it either. I'm a LLL member and didn't need anyone at WIC to help me. They were supportive that I bf and were amazed I was still bfing when I was down to 4 foods b/c of Evan's allergies. Since I had Ilana though, they opened a new clinic and now offer bfing support groups and bfing moms meet w/ someone special when they go get their checks and have checkups for the baby to make sure bfing is going well etc. There are nice little rooms w/ couches etc. I might try and make it to one of the bfing groups just to see what goes on there as I've only seen maybe 1 or 2 bfing moms in the past 5.5 yrs we've been on and off WIC. Most moms come in w/ tiny babies asking for their formula. Hopefully this new change has helped encourage more moms to bf.

I've never been offered a breast pump, manual or otherwise.

My biggest problem w/ WIC was the lack of allergy assistance. There were times when all we were getting off the checks were juice and if we could find some generic gluten free cereals. All of my kids have had problems w/ milk, soy, and egg and the last 2 had way more issues than that, including wheat. There were no alternatives for them, we just got what we could off the checks.
post #19 of 38
I'd like to see food packages with alternatives to dairy -- my WIC office couldn't figure out the fact that I could not consume dairy because my breastfed daughter was allergic to milk. DH has been eating alot of cheese...

I'd like to have all WIC employees educated about the benefits of extended nursing, including Child-led weaning. WIC is the only place I go where I have been continually discouraged from nursing my 3 year old. Where's the "way to go, mama!"?

In general, I find my WIC office to be very pro-breastfeeding -- but then I'm in a very pro-breastfeeding area, so I think there would be big consequences of they weren't supportive. But I was unaware of any classes, or how to contact an LC if I had issues... However, I may not have paid attention since I was a 2nd time mom when I started with WIC.
post #20 of 38
jus curious....in what states are you mamas wth the EBT for wic that lets you get rgainc? i have EBT for food stamps, but am still getting the checks for wic. No matter how nicely I ask, they ontinue to print out checks for 4 gallons of milk on one check, which means I either donate 3 gallons to the womens shelter or throw it out. is the card thing coming my way??? I'm in VA.
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