The Star-Herald

USDA proclaims national WIC Breastfeeding Week and launches new campaign

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today proclaimed Aug. 1-7 as National WIC Breastfeeding Week. Each year, National WIC Breastfeeding Week is held in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August to promote and support breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for a baby’s first year of life.

In addition, this year the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is launching a new breastfeeding campaign entitled “WIC Breastfeeding Support – Learn Together. Grow Together.” The research-based social marketing campaign encourages moms who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to breastfeed their babies and provides them with support and expertise to help them succeed.

“Each month, WIC serves almost 7 million low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and their young children,” said Brandon Lipps, USDA’s Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.  “The new WIC Breastfeeding Support campaign will educate new moms on the many benefits of breastfeeding and connect them with helpful resources and support.”

The campaign is designed for implementation at the state and local levels of WIC.  It includes a revamped website with resources for expectant and current mothers. Whether the user is learning about breastfeeding, beginning to breastfeed, overcoming common challenges, or thriving, the site has the information WIC moms need to make breastfeeding work for their family.

“As a father of four, I’ve witnessed the importance of having a strong network in helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals,” Lipps said. “WIC is there to help new moms every step of the way.”

Lipps added that USDA supports all WIC mothers – breastfeeding or not – and helps them ensure their infants have a healthy start in life.

State and local WIC agencies will have access to downloadable resources and materials to share with participants and partners, including posters, educational materials, videos and resources tailored for moms, dads, grandparents and the support network of infant caregivers.

For more information on the WIC Breastfeeding Support campaign, please visit WICBreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov.

WIC also supports breastfeeding mothers in other ways, including an enhanced food package to meet their unique nutritional needs, breastfeeding and nutrition education and guidance, WIC breastfeeding peer counselors, and referrals to other health and social services.  Additionally, WIC Designated Breastfeeding Experts are available to work with WIC moms to address breastfeeding challenges. Services are delivered through approximately 1,900 local agencies and 10,000 clinic sites. More information about the WIC program can be found at www.fns.usda.gov/WIC.

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