WIC Breastfeeding

WIC Breastfeeding

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If you tried to read all the information on breastfeeding you can find, your child would be breastfeeding their children by the time you finished. So here we’ve narrowed things down, presenting the important, top-level information and links to valuable resources you can trust. WIC wants breastfeeding to be a wonderful, nurturing experience for both mother and child, so the less time you spend finding answers, the more you spend working on breastfeeding.

Why Breastfeed

Your milk is the perfect food for growing, healthy babies. It has antibodies, anti-allergens and anti-virus properties not found in formula. It’s the perfect combination of fats, sugar and protein and has over 200 nutrients that aid an infant’s mental, intellectual, physical, and social development.

To learn more about the positives of breastfeeding and the science behind it all, the USDA WIC Breastfeeding Support page has everything you could be looking for and more. Or for information that’s more close to home, visit the Vermont Department of Health’s Breastfeeding resource page or download Your Guide to Breastfeeding.

Prepare for Success
Prepare before your baby is born
•  Talk to your healthcare provider
•  Attend classes through your hospital or WIC
•  Build a support team through your WIC clinic, health care provider, or lactation consultant
Provide a good start in the first days
•  Hold your baby skin to skin in the first hour
•  Breastfeed within the first hour after baby is born.
•  Let baby set the pace and feeding schedule–follow her cues.
•  Feed baby 8-12 times a day.
•  Breastmilk only (unless for medical reasons) and let others know.
•  Avoid bottles or pacifiers until breastfeeding is consistent.
•  Lean on your support network.
Lactation Counseling

Sometimes even the most natural thing in the world needs a little help. WIC provides mother’s who are having issues breastfeeding with resources including peer counselors and professional lactation consultants. With time, practice, and a little guidance those initial, less successful attempts will become distant memories as you and baby bond. Contact your WIC counselor for details.

Another great resources is La Leche League of MA, RI, and VT, whose volunteers are knowledgeable, experienced, and trained in all assets of breastfeeding.

Milk Supply

The main way to increase milk supply is to breastfeed early and frequently. Here are some other ways:

•  Do not set schedules or time limits-let baby feed as often and for as long as needed
•  Feed 8 times or more a day
•  Offer both breasts each feeding
•  Ensure breasts are emptied by using a breast pump before and after feedings
•  Use massage and compression during feeding to help baby empty breasts completely
•  When baby is finished ensure breasts are empty by hand expression

Keep yourself healthy

Give yourself plenty of rest. Stay hydrated–drink as much water as possible. Maintain a simple, well-balanced diet. Avoid smoking, antihistamines and other things that decrease supply. 

Diet Tips

Breastfeeding is hard work for your body. It’s estimated you burn an extra 500 calories a day just producing milk. Add to that the levels of nutrients that go into the milk itself, and it’s no wonder you’re in a bit of a haze. So replenish those calories and nutrients with whole, nutrient-dense foods like:

2 cups (oranges, avocado, berries, banana)

2.5-3 cups (lettuce, kale, spinach, asparagus, carrots)

Whole grains:
6-8 oz (Oatmeal, barley, brown rice)

Meat and Poultry:
5.5-6.5 oz (lean beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork)

3 cups (Low-fat or fat free yogurt, milk and cheese)

8-12 oz per week (Salmon, shellfish, shrimp)
Limit freshwater fish to 6 oz weekly and avoid high, mercury seafood (shark, swordfish, mackerel) altogether.

Skin-to-Skin & Latching

Skin-to-skin contact encourages both breastfeeding and bonding in baby’s first days

  • Lay baby on your bare chest in the first hour for skin to skin contact
  • Cover baby with blanket to keep warm
  • Make eye contact, talk, sing and enjoy your time together
  • Don’t be discouraged if she doesn’t latch immediately


Latching isn’t automatic–be patient

  • Place your hand under your breast.
  • Use your nipple to tickle baby’s nose and lips.
  • Aim your nipple just above your baby’s top lip
  • Baby should lean into the breast chin first and then latch onto your breast
  • Baby’s mouth should be wide and around breast, not just the nipple
  • Listen for swallowing sounds
  • If you feel pain, break the suction with your finger and start over


Resources & Other Links

There are a great deal of other resources for breastfeeding including:

  • Breast Pump and supply contacts
  • Parenting and Working Resources
  • Videos
  • Local contacts by county


For help or more information, contact the Vermont WIC Program by email at [email protected] or call 800-464-4343 | 802-863-7200 | Fax: 802-865-7754 | TTY/TDD: Dial 711 first. Or contact your local office.

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