By Tiffany Rice, WIC Program Manager, GCHD
When you think about the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, one of the first things that likely comes to mind are the nutritious supplemental foods provided. While that is a significant part of what WIC does, it’s by no means all the program offers. In addition to providing nutritious foods and health care referrals, WIC’s priority is to ensure that our families are educated nutritionally, especially when it comes to breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) offers us at the Galveston County Health District (GCHD) WIC program the opportunity to highlight many of the resources available to breastfeeding mothers, regardless of their enrollment status.
Mother’s Milk Club
When it comes to a mother’s breastfeeding journey, often times the best advice and support comes from other mothers on the same path. That’s why our WIC program launched Mother’s Milk Club last year – and it’s been a huge success!
The club is open to everyone, meaning participants do not have to be WIC clients. The meetings cover topics like the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, the important role of dads during breastfeeding, milk supply, breastfeeding in public and most importantly, biting!
We established clubs in Dickinson, Texas City and Galveston. You can learn more at www.gchd.org/milkclub.
Ever have a question about breastfeeding and wish you could quickly speak to an expert for advice? We’ve got you covered with the 24/7 breastfeeding support cell phone. Our counselors are passionate and dedicated to ensuring your breastfeeding concerns are promptly resolved. The number is 409-392-7120. Once again, you don’t have to be a WIC client to take advantage of this resource.
Breastfeeding Friendly Establishments
We feel it’s important to highlight local businesses and community partners that are committed to being friendly environments for breastfeeding families. After all, Texas law says a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.
These local establishments are listed at www.gchd.org/breastfeedingfriendly. Each also proudly displays a “Breastfeeding Friendly Establishment” decal.
Big Latch On
We are very excited about our upcoming Big Latch On event, the biggest part of our World Breastfeeding Week celebration! This event is an opportunity for mothers to celebrate breastfeeding by simultaneously breastfeeding with tens of thousands of others around the world.
Our event is Friday, August 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be free activities for children, including crafts, face painting and games. For those participating in the latch, please arrive by 10 a.m. to register for the worldwide count. The actual latch starts promptly at 10:30 a.m.
This is a community celebration and mothers are encouraged to bring their friends and family.
Check out www.facebook.com/gchdinfo during World Breastfeeding Week for facts about the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding.
WIC is here to help. Call 409-949-3471 or visit www.gchd.org/wic for information, whether you qualify for benefits or simply want to take part in our resources.
When it comes to breastfeeding, every ounce counts.
Tiffany Rice is the manager of the Galveston County Health District Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.