Virginia WIC Program promotes breastfeeding:
The Virginia Department of Health, Division of Community Nutrition
is committed to increasing the breastfeeding rates throughout the Commonwealth of
Virginia by promoting breastfeeding and support breastfeeding mothers, their families,
and the community:
- As the preferred infant feeding method
- By creating a positive health care setting environment
- By providing information on the health benefits of breastfeeding
- By supporting breastfeeding women through the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program.
- By providing the Breast Pump Loan Program to breastfeeding WIC participants.
Goals of Virginia WIC Breastfeeding Promotion
- To improve infant and family health by making breastfeeding the cultural norm.
- To improve the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration in Virginia's WIC
program to meet the National Healthy People 2020 Breastfeeding Objective (MICH-21 thru 24):
- 81.9% of women ever breastfeeding;
- 60.5% breastfeeding their infants at 6 months of life;
- 34.1% breastfeeding their infants at 1 year of age;
- 44.3% of infants being exclusively breastfed through 3 months of life; and
- 23.7% of infants being exclusively breastfed through 6 months of life.
All WIC Offices are monitored to be "Breastfeeding Friendly."
- Positive breastfeeding messages must be included in educational activities materials,
and outreach efforts.
- Formula advertisements and cans must not be visible to participants.
- WIC offices must provide a comfortable, discreet area for participants to breastfeed.
WIC Breastfeeding Benefits
- Breastfeeding women receive WIC benefits up to one year
- Breastfeeding women receive more variety and quantity of food than do non-breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program
In 2004, Virginia WIC implemented the Loving Support Through Peer Counseling, Breastfeeding
Peer Counselor Program. This program aims to enhance the continuity and consistency
of WIC's breastfeeding promotion efforts by offering mother-to-mother breastfeeding
The Virginia WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program will work to increase the
incidence and duration of breastfeeding exclusively within the WIC population. Combining
peer counseling with the on-going breastfeeding promotion efforts in WIC agencies
throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia has had a dramatic impact on breastfeeding
rates among WIC participants, and, most significantly, is assisting to increase
the harder to achieve breastfeeding duration rates.
Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are women who have a personal breastfeeding experience
and who are or have been WIC participants themselves. They have been carefully selected
and trained in basic breastfeeding techniques and counseling skills and have a desire
to help other WIC mothers achieve their personal breastfeeding goals. Breastfeeding
Peer Counselors provide breastfeeding information, encouragement and support both
prenatal and throughout the mother's breastfeeding experience; therefore working
to fill in the gap in services between the private physician and the WIC agency.
To read more about the program please visit the program website at
Pump Loan Program
Electric breast pumps are loaned and attachment kits given to breastfeeding WIC
participants if they need to be away from their infants for long periods of time
to establish, maintain, and/or collect breast milk. Manual breast pumps are given
to breastfeeding WIC participants who request them for their personal use. Other
breastfeeding equipment is available to participants if needed.
Please contact your local WIC office for pump availability.
For pump availability or for more information regarding the pump loan program please contact your local WIC office. Click HERE for contact information.