Anyone against WIC only providing Breast Feeding Support and foods for only a year? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 60 Old 02-02-2010, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. I have a son who will be a year old in 2 weeks. Our nursing relationship is still going strong. The only problem is that we are a low income family because both my husband and I are blind and are unable to work at the present time. Here is the problem that I am facing. WIC only provides breast feeding support and food to make the milk optimum for only one year. That support is about to be pulled away from me once my son turns a year. Is there anyone else who thinks that WIC's policy for nursing mothers is unfair?
I think that it is mostly due to societal pressures that makes people think that breast feeding is acceptable for up to a year. I mean, even my family, my mother, twin sister, and father are asking me if i am going to wien and if i do not, I should wien him soon because he will form a dependancy on the breast milk and never want to stop drinking it.

So if anyone else who wants WIC to change their policy, please let me know so that we can perhaps petition WIC to end this horrible policy.

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#2 of 60 Old 02-02-2010, 09:05 PM
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If they continue to provide foods for BFing moms past a year then they would need to also continue to provide formula for formula fed infants after a year IMO. Right now it is fair since they stop giving out formula coupons at a year and it only makes sense to also discontinue the extra food for BFing moms. Isn't WIC supposed to be a supplemental program and not something to be relied on for all food needs for the month? Do you qualify for food stamps?
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#3 of 60 Old 02-02-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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I believe they start providing food coupons for your son instead. Like milk, juice, cereals, etc. Check with your local food bank.
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#4 of 60 Old 02-02-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post
If they continue to provide foods for BFing moms past a year then they would need to also continue to provide formula for formula fed infants after a year IMO. Right now it is fair since they stop giving out formula coupons at a year and it only makes sense to also discontinue the extra food for BFing moms.


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I believe they start providing food coupons for your son instead. Like milk, juice, cereals, etc.
They do, and this is where it gets a little iffy for me, because it would be better to support toddlers continuing to drink breastmilk rather than giving them cow's milk. Although mom can always drink the milk, I suppose (I hate milk, yuck!)

It did stink to go from having the pump rental and getting extra breastfeeding food to getting baby food, since we just go right to "adult" food here.
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#5 of 60 Old 02-02-2010, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To jeanine, yes, we do qualify for and receive foodstamps each month. and yes, WIC is only a supplemental program. I know that they stop providing powdered milk coupons for those baby's who drink it at a year, but it is the principle of the thing. those who feed that stuff should get it after a year as well as us bfing moms getting the extra food and support.
i mean, it is our choice weather to bfeed beyond a year this is why i believe that WIC should continue to provide food for nursing until we deam that it is time to quit, not at the set cut off time of a year.

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#6 of 60 Old 02-02-2010, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They do, and this is where it gets a little iffy for me, because it would be better to support toddlers continuing to drink breastmilk rather than giving them cow's milk. Although mom can always drink the milk, I suppose (I hate milk, yuck!)

It did stink to go from having the pump rental and getting extra breastfeeding food to getting baby food, since we just go right to "adult" food here.
Yes, I agree. Dairy milk is totally nasty but WIC does not provide soymilk unless you have a documented case of being intollerant of dairy milk. They also give me jarred baby foods as well even though we always used to make our own baby foods and as ds got older, we ground up our foods. now we are giving adult food to him cut up in tiny pieces.I got my breast pump to keep instead of rent. And yes, breast milk is better for toddlers than cows milk. Cows milk is for baby cows, not humans. No wonder so many people are dairy intollerant. And the push for people to always drink dairy because of the supposed benefits is crazy.

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#7 of 60 Old 02-03-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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The fact is that WIC was started to supplement kids, pg women, BF women, PP women and infants who were receiving inadequate nutrition during those periods of life that poor nutrition can have the most detrimental impact.

WIC was not set up for those that are already getting optimal nutrition. That was never the point. That is why in order to qualify for WIC you must meet income as well as nutritional risk eligibility.

I understand the point you are trying to make but as someone who has worked closely w/WIC for over 10 yrs (as a nutritionist and a BF counselor) I think the policy that you are referring to is fair. Your child will still get WIC until he is 5 yrs old and you can use it the same way you used the food you used to receive when your name was on the checks.

Don't get me wrong, there are WIC policies and procedures that need improvement, but there's only so much money to go around and IMO they make the qualifications pretty darn relaxed in order to get the most people on the program that they can in the community.

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#8 of 60 Old 02-03-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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I think it's also important to remember that WIC was originally created during the Johnson Administration to help with nutrition but also to help prop up America's dairy and farming industry. It was (and I think still may be) run out of the Department of Agriculture and not out of Health and Human services. I think there are lots of ways to support breastfeeding beyond a year--with information, praise, etc. I really think its fabulous they support nursing moms and babies up to a year and not only for six months, and I'm happy with some of the recent changes they've made to that end.

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#9 of 60 Old 02-03-2010, 08:12 PM
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It's 100% funded by the Dept. of Ag and administered by the Dept. of Health.

http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdCollie...C/wic_faq.html
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#10 of 60 Old 02-03-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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Thanks! I guess my point is, I think it's fabulous they're promoting breastfeeding at all considering it's the biggest purchaser of formula in the US. Not that there isn't room for improvement, of course. And I think they're a billion times better than when I was on it with my first ten years ago.

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#11 of 60 Old 02-03-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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In our state, formula feeding moms at WIC only get checks for themselves up to 6 months. Breastfeeding moms get checks for 1 year. In our office, if a mom is bf past a year, she can get bf support (via meeting with a peer counselor or lactation consultant), just not checks. If you don't like the food on your or your child's checks, there are some subtitutions allowed. Call your office to see what needs to be done b/c you may need a doctor's note if you want soy milk or tofu instead of cow's milk or cheese (not sure if that is available in your state).

In our office, we try very hard to make sure everyone gives praise to moms who are bf past a year. But I guess as there is only so much funding for the program, and as a supplemental program, it was determined that bf women need the most nutritional support in the first year postpartum, so that is how long bf women can receive checks.

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#12 of 60 Old 02-04-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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They actually provide support longer for a breastfeeding Mother than they do for a a formula feeding mother.

Under the new WIC guidelines where I live, breastfeeding Mothers are given a lot more than those that do not. I get more in my food package, my fruit and veggie voucher is $10 compared to their $6; I get more milk and I believe cheese, whereas formula feeders only get milk and it is not as much as I would get; I get certain foods that formula feeding mothers do not get as well, like tuna or salmon that is canned; I also get beans and peanut butter and something else, whereas they only get the peanut butter or beans. My food package lasts for a year, whereas formula feeding mothers only get 6 months.

Also, if you are feeding formula, they wont cover the formula unless it is medically necessary after a year.

Furthermore, as a breastfeeding child, my baby would get a heck of a lot more baby foods than a formula feed baby will.
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#13 of 60 Old 02-04-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post


It did stink to go from having the pump rental and getting extra breastfeeding food to getting baby food, since we just go right to "adult" food here.
Ours stop getting baby food at a year as well. and goes right to almost the same foods mom got while she was breastfeeding.
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#14 of 60 Old 02-04-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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To jeanine, yes, we do qualify for and receive foodstamps each month. and yes, WIC is only a supplemental program. I know that they stop providing powdered milk coupons for those baby's who drink it at a year, but it is the principle of the thing. those who feed that stuff should get it after a year as well as us bfing moms getting the extra food and support.
i mean, it is our choice weather to bfeed beyond a year this is why i believe that WIC should continue to provide food for nursing until we deam that it is time to quit, not at the set cut off time of a year.
Do you know how much the formula costs? There is really no way they could continue to provide formula to everyone that wanted it after a year. Besides, that would lead to even MORE moms selling the cans on craigslist after buying them with WIC money.

I would like to see breastfeeding benefits extended on principle though because it does feel like they are saying that BFing "should" stop at a year and it emphasizes the "food" aspect and "formula as norm/standard" rather than the true nutritive benefits of BFing.
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#15 of 60 Old 02-04-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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I would like to see breastfeeding benefits extended on principle though because it does feel like they are saying that BFing "should" stop at a year and it emphasizes the "food" aspect and "formula as norm/standard" rather than the true nutritive benefits of BFing.
I don't know a lot about WIC but maybe they could modify the policy so that you could choose a "continued BF'ing package" (for nursing past a year) where instead of giving foods for the baby, they'd continue to give the extra foods for mom. Seems like it would work out about the same financially but policy-wise it would sound more BF'ing-friendly.

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#16 of 60 Old 02-04-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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i was supported for bf after 1 yr with dd3 at my local office. they gave her extra milk and pnut butter and when i told the nurse she didn't need it, she told me to drink it. if you don't like or can't tolerate dairt, ask for a substitute. most times, the wic people are willing to help in order that the food goes to good use.

i was given a free ameda pump and 2 bf videos when i signed dd up @ 5 wks old. i'm very proud that our wic office was so supportive of bf. ff moms only get wic for 6 mos pp and the babies get less on their vouchers at 6 mos than the bf babies. i get $10 for vegs and ff moms get $6. they get smaller vouchers for the other foods as well. i get more protein and bread options than a ff mom. we are told during the nutrition ed classes that the ff vouchers are smaller and that the vouchers only cover 8 cans of formula/month.

as to the op's concerns, i think you just need to talk to your wic people and explain what your situation is and see if there's anything they can do for you.

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#17 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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I don't know a lot about WIC but maybe they could modify the policy so that you could choose a "continued BF'ing package" (for nursing past a year) where instead of giving foods for the baby, they'd continue to give the extra foods for mom. Seems like it would work out about the same financially but policy-wise it would sound more BF'ing-friendly.
Ok, the thing is, the food they provide at 1 year of age, is almost the same thing they provided to the nursing mother.

6 gal milk
2 doz eggs
3 can juice
36 oz cereal
1lb whole gr bread
1lb dry beans AND
1lb p butter
30oz canned fish
1lb cheese
$10 F&V check

Here is what formula feeding mothers get (package only lasts till baby is 6 months of age)

4 gal milk
1 doz eggs
3 can juice
36 oz cereal
1lb dry bean OR 1lb p butter
$8 F&V check

From 6-12 months of age
If you are not exclusively bf'ing (meaning you get no formula from WIC)
You get Formula, 32 jars food, cereal

If you are exclusively bf'ing
You get 95 jars food and cereal

At 1 year of age, child starts getting
4 gal milk - whole milk only in Ohio (anything but whole after reaching age 2)
1 doz eggs
3 cans juice
36 oz cereal
16-31 oz whole grain bread
$6 F&V check
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#18 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 06:06 AM
 
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Hi all. I have a son who will be a year old in 2 weeks. Our nursing relationship is still going strong. The only problem is that we are a low income family because both my husband and I are blind and are unable to work at the present time. Here is the problem that I am facing. WIC only provides breast feeding support and food to make the milk optimum for only one year. That support is about to be pulled away from me once my son turns a year. Is there anyone else who thinks that WIC's policy for nursing mothers is unfair?
I think that it is mostly due to societal pressures that makes people think that breast feeding is acceptable for up to a year. I mean, even my family, my mother, twin sister, and father are asking me if i am going to wien and if i do not, I should wien him soon because he will form a dependancy on the breast milk and never want to stop drinking it.

So if anyone else who wants WIC to change their policy, please let me know so that we can perhaps petition WIC to end this horrible policy.
When I finally sucked it up and signed up for WIC, I was not only surprised that they supported BF moms as much as they do for as long as they do, I was happy that a government agency is promoting nutrition and BF as much as they are, especially considering that a lot of the people I know who have been on WIC in the past have had no idea what proper nutrition really is. I know that's not necessarily the case anymore, but I bet the message WIC has been sending about eating fruits, veggies, avoiding white stuff and BF your baby has helped educate a lot of people, simply because the food list has drastically changed for the better over the decades.

Do I wish some of the policies were different? Sure. But I'm happy to simply use the coupons for the most nutritious foods on the list and keep on rolling. I think it's a blessing that they even HAVE nutritious foods on the list.

Personally, my goal is to not need WIC after the baby is here and I'm able to start working again, and I sure as heck hope that happens well before a year, but I'm glad I have at least a year to adjust. I'd be very nervous in your situation though, because it doesn't sound like you're able to supplement your income right now. I hope we can all find some way to encourage the WIC program to continue to grow and move in the right direction, but in the meanwhile, will you be ok? Will you be able to keep meeting your family's nutritious needs?

I know from volunteering that churches are great places to get free, very nutritious food, perhaps enough to replace whatever you may be losing from WIC. There was one church where I volunteered where we gave away beans, rice, organic breads, canned fish, and a ton of fruits and veggies. Everyone just showed up with a big bag, and we filled it up with whatever was on tap that week. The WIC / FS programs might be able to point you in the right direction. They gave me a whole (long!) list where I can find nutritious, free food throughout the community.

They may also be able to help you find another source of financial assistance. There have to be programs out there that can help you. I can't imagine that WIC is going to change their policies within the next 2 weeks...
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#19 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 06:18 AM
 
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I didn't have that experience with WIC at all. When my dd was 13 months old, I tried to yet again attempt to relactate, and the WIC lactation counsultant loaned me a hospital grade pump for a few months, until I realized it wasn't working. For kids with special needs, wic still steps in and will order elemental formulas past age 1. I'm pretty sure that if your child is over the age of 1, and still NEEDS formula or breastmilk, a doctors note is all it takes. Failure to thrive, multiple food allergies, malabsorbion issues, texture issues ETC EtC. It would be nice if WIC felt that children needed breastmilk for over a year, but with that said, I am grateful that WIC will work with you. My dd was underweight and only had a diagnosis of acid reflux and chronic constipaton at 1 yr and we were able to get a pump with no problem at all.

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#20 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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WIC definitely supports BFing moms past a year in our district, with BFing support from a peer counselor, free loan of a double electric pump if needed, and access to BFing help and resources. As far as the foods, it is supposed to be just supplemental, so I would apply for food stamps. If you qualify for WIC, you most definitely qualify for food stamps!

Good luck to you, and I hope you find the resources you need!
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#21 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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If you qualify for WIC, you most definitely qualify for food stamps!
If only that were true!

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#22 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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Where I live, you may use your WIC milk coupons to get canned or powdered milk. (all except 1 coupon which specifies 2 gal. fluid milk) Even though we don't drink milk as such, I do still use milk. We manage to make good use of all our milk coupons each month.

I use my canned milk for baking and in soups.

I use the powdered milk in making my own baking mixes (org.WW flour + sucanat pancake mix, biscuit mix, etc. ) Also with a little salt and water added to powdered milk you can use it in place of "cream of whatever" soup concentrate in a recipe.

The little fluid milk I do still get I make into yogurt since we don't drink milk.
The yogurt can be drained and firmed up into yogurt cheese too.

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#23 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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The max income requirements for WIC are set much, much higher than those for food stamps around here.
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#24 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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With my mod hat on I'm going to remind you all to please stay on topic. If you'd like to discuss nutrition, WIC recipes, etc, please do so in the Nutrition and Good Eating forum. And if you'd like discuss finances, other places to get help besides WIC, etc, please do so in Nutrition and Good Eating. I know it's natural that conversations tend to meander a bit, but Lactivism is a forum with a very focused and dedicated topic (see the guidelines at the top of the forum) and we're trying to make a concentrated effort to keep the threads on topic.

Thanks, and as always, feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns.

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#25 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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And with my mod hat off, LOL, I guess if this was an area where I was going to focus my lactivism efforts, what I'd really like to see is a more consistent across the nation approach to promoting breastfeeding. It seems like it varies not only state to state but county to county.

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#26 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I would love for wic to continue to support breastfeeding mamas with an extended food package until the kid is 2 years old--it won't be that large of a cost, since they are saving a ton of money by not getting formula at all. I nursed my oldest until he was 4 and my youngest is still going strong at 2 with me 11 weeks preggo. An extended package would have came in handy last year when my husband and I both lost our jobs and money was extremely tight.

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#27 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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When they changed the packages this fall I asked about what it would take to switch to soy milk as my children can not handle cow's milk. I was told that children can only get soy milk in FL with a doctor's note, but the youngest would be switched to some type of formula if he got a note as he is under age 2. An adult only needs to tell the worker that they need soy milk to get it.

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#28 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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I think WICs current policy is pretty generous. Sure, a little more flexibility would be nice in exchanging baby food for food for the BFing mother, etc. but I imagine that tons of women placing "special orders" would be quite difficult to manage.

I disagree, though, that the benefits for a BF mother need to be matched for FF mothers. Apples and oranges. I don't think that BF issues should hinge on FFers. I starts to become really disheartening when FF keeps coming up in topics 100% about BFing alone. It's just not relevant.

I totally agree with annettemarie about consistency. I am always amazed in threads like this how differently WIC is managed. Sometimes even a single employee will give different benefits and guidelines than another employee at the same office. How confusing!

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#29 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2sweetboysmom View Post
Where I live, you may use your WIC milk coupons to get canned or powdered milk. (all except 1 coupon which specifies 2 gal. fluid milk) Even though we don't drink milk as such, I do still use milk. We manage to make good use of all our milk coupons each month.

I use my canned milk for baking and in soups.

I use the powdered milk in making my own baking mixes (org.WW flour + sucanat pancake mix, biscuit mix, etc. ) Also with a little salt and water added to powdered milk you can use it in place of "cream of whatever" soup concentrate in a recipe.

The little fluid milk I do still get I make into yogurt since we don't drink milk.
The yogurt can be drained and firmed up into yogurt cheese too.
Where I am at, Ohio, you can no longer substitute powdered milk for gallons of milk. You have to get what is printed on your coupon. If your child is between 12-24 months it is whole milk only. If your child is over 24 months then you get 2%, 1%, 1/2% or skim Milk but may not get whole milk.
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#30 of 60 Old 02-05-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Yeah, I think it is really important to remember that WIC varies dramatically state to state, county to county.

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