August is Illinois Breastfeeding Promotion Month

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) works diligently to promote breastfeeding and improve breastfeeding rates across the nation.

WIC is recognized for its breastfeeding efforts and accomplishments. More than half of the infant' born in the United States are enrolled in WIC, but many outside the Program are still unaware of all the breastfeeding promotion and support services that WIC provides.

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2012

Illinois WIC Association

How the WIC Program Supports Breastfeeding

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides nutrition and breastfeeding education, nutritious foods and improved healthcare access for 9 million at-risk low-income women, infants and children.

Why It's Important to Support Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Benefits
  • Mothers - Reduces risk of Brest Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, PostPartum Depression
  • Babies - Obesity, Lower respiratory infections, Type 2 Diabetes, Asthma, SIDS (Sudden Infants Death Syndrome)
  • Society - if 90% of women breastfed exclusively for 6 months if could result in:
    • $13 billion saved in the U.S. each year
    • 1,000 infant deaths prevented each year
  • 74.6% of U.S. mothers initiate breastfeeding
  • 44.3% of U.S. mothers still breastfeed at 6 months

How the WIC Program Helps

WIC promotes breastfeeding as the optimal infant feeding choice.

The WIC Program Provides

  • Breastfeeding Peer Counselors
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Classes & Support Groups
  • Educational Materials
  • Hotlines for Questions

Breastfeeding Initiatives

  • 1997 - USDA implements "Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work" campaign to increase rate of breastfeeding among WIC mothers and improve public support of breastfeeding.
  • 2004 - Past WIC participants support women learning to breastfeed with launch of Breastfeeding Peer Counselor initiative.
  • 2009 - Mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding get more healthy foods with introduction of enhanced WIC food package.
  • 2011 - Institute of Medicine holds workshop to update "Loving Support" campaign to reflect changes in today's millennial moms. 

In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7th, please check out the info-graphic below: