Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many healthy, nutritional, economical and emotional benefits to mother and baby. The WIC program has a Breastfeeding Peer Helper on staff to help answer questions and provide assistance to all breastfeeding moms whether or not they are on the WIC program. Contact Heidi Myers, a certified lactation counselor, by phone at 740-392-2200, Ext. 2283.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that mothers breast feed their babies for the first 12 months and as long thereafter as is mutually desired.
The Top 10 Reasons to breastfeed your child
- Easier for baby to digest than artificial milk
- Strengthens baby’s immune system
- Protects against SIDS
- Baby develops a higher IQ
- Stronger bond between mom & baby
- Protects mom & baby against diabetes
- Helps mom relax and helps prevent postpartum depression
- Protects mom against breast cancer
- Faster weight loss for mom
- Saves family $1,250 a year
Some breastfeeding tips
Get an early start
Babies who are held skin-to-skin on their mother’s chest, right after birth, are more likely to breast feed easier. So, be sure to tell your doctor and the hospital nurses that you want to hold your baby for at least the first hour after the birth, skin-to-skin (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket). That’s the best way to introduce your baby to the world.
Babies who experience skin-to-skin contact right after birth, also:
- Are happier and less likely to cry
- Have a better heart rate
- Have better body temperature than under a warmer
- Have better blood sugars
- Burn less calories there than under a warmer
Nurse on demand
Nurse often, at least every two hours, and not on any strict schedule. This helps mom build a healthy milk supply. As baby gets older he or she will settle into a more predictable routine.
WIC and Breastfeeding
Since a major goal of the WIC Program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, WIC mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants. WIC has historically promoted breastfeeding to all pregnant women as the optimal infant feeding choice, unless medically contraindicated.
- WIC mothers choosing to breastfeed are provided information through counseling and breastfeeding educational materials.
- Breastfeeding mothers receive follow-up support through peer counselors.
- Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers.
- Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants receive an enhanced food package.
Ohio Mothers' Milk Bank
Breast milk is as life saving for premature babies just like blood is to trauma patients. One ounce of donated breast milk can feed three premature babies for a day. It can feed one premature baby for three days. It can help protect and nourish babies that are premature, ill, or have other life-threatening health conditions. It is the perfect nourishment, containing beneficial growth hormones, developmental enzymes, infection fighting and immunological factors.
Research shows that human milk helps pre-term infants reach full feeds sooner and need fewer IV’s, mature their intestines faster, spend fewer days in the hospital, and reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (a potentially fatal bowel infection), sepsis (blood infection), and other infections.
How to start the process to become a breast milk donor:
- Call Ohio Health's Mothers' Milk Bank to conduct a phone screening at 614-566-0630
A blood draw must be done at no cost to donor.
- A blood draw can be done at either the Knox County or Danville Community Health Center at no cost.
- Once approved call Knox County WIC to make plans to drop off your liquid gold!
- Your breastmilk will be stored in our freezer, transported to Ohio Health's Breast Milk Bank, and then distributed to a mom and baby in need.