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What I wish WIC would do

3292 Views 90 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  devoted2kids
WIC spends a ton of money on formula. I wish that they would give BFing moms a small stipend...say $50 per month. Even if they did it for just the first few months or started it at 3 months. I think a small cash incentive would get a lot more financially challenged moms nursing. What do you all think?

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I know I could've used the extra $50/month for doing something I was going to do anyway

It really wouldn't matter for some people regardless of their financial situation. They get it in their heads the BF is "nasty" or whatever and refuse to even try it. Or they're like my SIL and so jacked up on crack/meth/marijuana all the time that they really shouldn't be BF.
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I already felt like I was making out like a bandit with WIC and breastfeeding. I mean you can either feed the baby for free with the formula, or feed the baby for free with breastmilk and then get food for YOU for free!
For us, the amt of extra food I got while breastfeeding wasn't a whole lot more than what I would have gotten if I formula-fed.
For us, the extra food I get is a real help when the budget's tight at the end of the month. For us, cash would get spent and then we wouldn't have any milk or eggs.
If you mean money in addition to the checks for food that nursing mothers already get then that does sound like a nice idea. I just wonder with the deals that WIC gets from formula companies if they are spending $50 a month for each baby's formula. I personally really wish that FL's WIC did soy milk! On the nursing front I wish they continued their nursing mom's package until age 2. I know a lot of bf babies that weren't taking much in the way of solids until 18 months to 2 years so continuing that little extra for mom up to that point would be really nice. It would also help get out the idea to nurse for at least 2 years.
The thing is that formula-feeding moms can also get food until 6 mo. Nursing moms can get it until a year, but lots of people totally don't know that. If there was food for mom only for bf moms after like 2-3 mo., I think it would get more moms to keep bf'ing.

Also, they should come up w/ something better for bf babies for 6-12 mo. than juice and cereal. Eeew. I wound up feeding DD cheerios a lot that I got for ME from WIC...but not that baby cereal guck.

Now, if they gave out quality hospital-grade double-action electric breast pumps to all nursing mamas who had to work or go to school, and prominently advertise this to pg. moms, to use until their babe was a year, maybe they could get it through more mamas' heads that work and bf'ing can be compatible. So many mamas just quit bf'ing when they have to go back to work, either because they don't know you can bf and work, or because they can't afford a pump but hey, WIC formula is free... never mind that often they wind up spending money on formula anyway because WIC doesn't give enough to rely only on them.
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Just curious what the extra $50 would be for. I thought WIC was suposed to be used to feed women and children, I don't think bribing women with $50 is appropriate. I think there should be more resources to educate women on the benefits of BF, but to me your idea seems like bribery. Or is it a way to get the same $ value that FF women get? Like, well I'm not getting X cans of formula why shouldn't I get the $? Either way I wouldn't support it. Sorry.
For us we got a few extra things in exchange for BFing. I got carrots a bag of beans and a couple cans of tuna fish each month. I woundn't have gotten ANY of that if I had just been getting formula. Plus I got a FREE Medela electric double pump because I was having supply issues. As well as free cloth pads and lanolin.
Stipends to support breastfeeding moms are common in countries with more socialistic forms of democracy (i.e. France, Scandenavian countries etc.). From what I understand, the stipends are available to every breastfeeding mom, regardless of income or occupation. Sounds great in theory; however, the countries in question have a much higher rate of income taxation than we do in the U.S. in part because of the types of social welfare programs in place for their citizens. Quite honestly.... I'd rather pay more taxes and know that good healthcare, parental support, and education were available to all citizens, but that's another debate entirely!

To answer the OP... I think it would be somewhat problematic to offer cash for breastfeeding because of many of the reasons already mentioned, but would support offering supplemental food to the breastfeeding mother through the 18 - 24 month mark rather than cutting it off at 12 months. Also, perhaps the food choices could be expanded beyond tuna and carrots? Just a thought.
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I think WIC is a huge waste of taxpayer's money. Around here, a lot of the women on WIC aren't even legal citizens. The federal government thinks women in this country are too stupid to take care of their own and babies' nutritional needs I suppose, so they take our money and "help" us with it. I may be low income with two babies to feed, but I don't need Enfamil nor non cruelty free eggs and milk!
I wish they would make people who are capable of nursing do so, by only giving all that formula away for free if there really is a need for it... but just my 2 cents... sorry if that angers someone, but I think more people would nurse if they werent getting free formula....
I don't think it's a waste of money, if it's done right. Our wic really took a lot of time to go over common "nutritional mistakes" (I can't think of a better term, sorry) that I see all the time with me. And, I've known of women who after chosing to ff, end up either not making formula correctly, or making their own homemade formula because they realize they can't afford it. My dh's ex did this, she was only using half the powder than the can said to (although she just did it b/c she wanted it to last, when dh found out, he was furious and it wasn't because they couldn't afford extra).

Of course, if all they're doing is handing you vouchers and not educating, they're not doing their job, imo. I sure wish mine would include vegies/fruits, they don't, but we eat a lot of beans and cheese here, so I appreciate that!
I wish they would make people who are capable of nursing do so, by only giving all that formula away for free if there really is a need for it... but just my 2 cents... sorry if that angers someone, but I think more people would nurse if they werent getting free formula....

Or the women would start their babies directly on cows milk. Formula is a lot better for babies than straight cows milk.

I wish WIC would provide organic milk instead of that crap with BGH. I stopped getting with when I was BF because it did NOTHING for me--I don't drink regular milk, I don't usually eat cereal, I only get cage free or organic eggs, I only buy organic carrots, and there is no way in Hell I'm touching any sort of tuna because the smell alone makes me vomit. We don't drink juice unless we make ourselves in the juicer. I really wish WIC would have provided me with something I could use.
I don't think WIC should pay for formula. Period.

How about giving vouchers for lots of fresh veggies and fruit? I for one would really go for that. Milk and eggs are cheap and not all that nutritive. How about some fresh veggies?

I also wish they would give some food that doesn't fall into the top 8 food allergens!
: Oh, other than carrots. And the 2 cereals allowed that don't have wheat. Yes, 2. Store brand rice Chex and Corn flakes. Yay, let me pour some rice milk on my rice cereal. Really great for my blood sugar!

OK, so I've heard they're going to allow soy in place of cow's milk, tofu in place of cheese, sometime in the next couple of years. Um, cow's milk is the #1 food allergy. Soy is #2. Hmmmm.... And all that peanut butter? Eggs? SOmetimes I wonder if being on WIC while pregnant is THE reason why Liam has all the allergies he does! I mean, yeah genetics plays a part, but I don't think I would have been eating anywhere near the amount on wheat, milk, eggs, peanut butter, etc, while pg if I hadn't been on WIC. I was on WIC w/ Damienand Liam, but not Jake. Jake is the only one of the 3 who did not have severe multiple food allergies as infant. Coincidence? Hmmmm.....

How about those veggies?

Oh, and I agree organic should be allowed. Instead of disallowing organic, why don't they have us pay the difference? The only thing I get from WIC now is the juice and cereal. That's it. I don't like getting the juice, but dh wants me to get it. Our kids don't drink it much, but he does.
I don't feel bad about the cereal b/c there aren't many pesticides in grain. Virtually none. I try to buy organic b/c of the environmental impact as well, but hey, we're poor and it's free food that I know isn't hurting my kids (I make sure to get ones w/ no hydrogenated oil and no corn syrup.)
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I don't think WIC should pay for formula. Period.

So you'd rather see babies die from malnutrition because their mothers can't/won't breastfeed? It's not the babies faults yet they're the ones who would be getting punished.
Maybe if they could give $50 vouchers to breastfeeding women for nursing apparel. Or a sling. Or maybe a nursing pillow. There are other things that help to make a breastfeeding relationship successful besides food, imho.
I'm on the fence about WIC. As long as the program is going to exist, I would like to see them create national standards that removes all foods with blatantly unhealthy things, such as hydrogenated oil and corn syrup; and offer more beans and produce and less juice and dairy and cereal, and allow organic whenever available. And I am in the require a prescription for formula camp (or perhaps a note from an IBCLC, who is less likely to just rubber-stamp everyone who doesn't want to bf than the average doctor would be). I do think the program is, overall, horribly abused and very detrimental to breastfeeding rates.

Originally Posted by paquerette
I'm on the fence about WIC.
Hehe, how ironic, I posted at the same time as OnTheFence.

Sorry, OT, carry on.
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I had the oppurtunity to apply for a postion as a breastfeeding consultant for wic....they could only "afford" to hire one person....but yet they can shell out thousands and thousands of dollars a year for formula! In the area I live in only 10% of women bf after 1 month. You would think they could atleast afford to hire one more consultant!! They girl they hired had only bf'd her child for 6 months!! I'm going on a year with no end in sight! I just believe of government has there priorities in all the worng places!!
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