Program Provides Free Support and Resources
AUSTIN – August is National Breastfeeding Month, and Texas WIC is sharing resources to support moms and pregnant women to help meet their breastfeeding goals.
“From the start of your pregnancy through your child’s fifth birthday, Texas WIC is here for you every step of the way,” said Texas WIC Nutrition Education and Clinic Services Director Amanda Hovis. “Pregnant women in Texas wanting nutrition advice, moms looking for breastfeeding support and families with young children are encouraged to apply for WIC to help give their children a healthy start to life.”
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby last a lifetime. Breastmilk has hundreds of ingredients and antibodies that help protect babies from illness and allergies. For moms, breastfeeding has been linked to lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even certain cancers.
Breastfeeding can be challenging sometimes, and Texas WIC has a free 24/7 lactation support hotline, breastfeeding peer counselors, lactation consultants, and free nutrition and breastfeeding classes available to all Texas moms, regardless of whether they qualify for Texas WIC. Texas WIC also provides women who qualify with a free breast pump and pumping supplies.
WIC benefits are provided at no cost to eligible pregnant women, breastfeeding moms and families with children younger than 5. Anyone with children under the age of 5 can apply for WIC, including dads, foster parents, guardians or grandparents. Moms-to-be can qualify for WIC as soon as they find out they’re pregnant. WIC recently updated its income guidelines, allowing more families to participate.
“Eligibility for the WIC program depends on your income and the number of people in your household,” said Amanda Hovis, Director of Nutrition Education & Clinical Services, Texas WIC. “For example, a family of four can make up to 55,500 and qualify for the WIC program.”
“The WIC program provides nutritious foods that are curated for specific ages. Our target age range is kids aged 0- 5 years old, and moms who are pregnant and breastfeeding. It’s moms and children who need additional nutrients at those key stages of time as they’re growing and developing. So we have foods like milk, cheese, juice, eggs, cereal, beans, or peanut butter and fresh fruits and vegetables that really help get mom and baby what they need,” added Amanda Hovis, Director of Nutrition Education & Clinical Services, Texas WIC. “And it’s really about that developing child because if we can help that child, get those key nutrients at key stages of development, they’ll be ready to learn in school. That’s what our goal is, making sure that child is ready to learn in school and be the best that they can be.”
For more information or to apply, visit TexasWIC.org/apply or call 1-800-942-3678.
WIC is a federal nutrition program providing healthy food, one-on-one nutrition counseling, recipes, nutrition classes and breastfeeding support to pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and families with children younger than 5. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission administers WIC in Texas. For more information on WIC benefits and questions about eligibility, visit TexasWIC.org.