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Celebrating World and National WIC Breastfeeding Week

By Arlease Hall

August 02, 2016

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL – “In celebration of World and National WIC Breastfeeding Week, the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program is extending an open invitation to the community to stop in to meet our magnificent Breastfeeding Peer Counselors who support and encourage our mothers in their desire to breastfeed,” said Clint Sperber, Health Officer for DOH – St. Lucie.

"Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
St Lucie West Location - 531 NW Lake Whitney Drive, Port St Lucie

Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
714 Avenue C, Fort Pierce

The WIC Program’s breastfeeding support team consists of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Peer Counselors, two of which are La Leche League Leaders, and a staff of Dietitians and Nutrition Educators. “The team supports and encourages mothers in their choice to breastfeed, and we are happy to report increasing rates of mothers who fully breastfeed and partially breastfeed their babies for six months, exceeding the statewide averages for these indicators,” said Mally Chrulski, Nutrition Program Director.

WIC also works closely with local hospitals that provide care to breastfeeding patients who may have an ill or premature infant that necessitates the use of an electric pump to provide breastmilk for the baby who is separated from mom temporarily. Mothers enrolled in WIC have access to our multi-user electric breast pump loan program for when they return to work or school based on availability.

The WIC Program in St Lucie County and La Leche League jointly offers a Mothers Helping Mothers Support Group monthly at the St Lucie West WIC office on the third Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. All mothers are invited to participate and children are welcome to come along as well.

Human milk for human babies provides the ideal balance of nutrients uniquely designed to meet an infant’s growth and development needs. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of infections, diarrheal disease, some chronic diseases and may reduce the risk of childhood obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for infants unless medically contraindicated.

WIC provides nutrition education, counseling, breastfeeding support and nutritious foods for eligible pregnant women, breastfeeding and post-partum women, infants and children up to age five who meet eligibility guidelines. WIC has added new foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grain pasta and flour tortillas, yogurt, organic baby fruits and vegetables for infants at six months of age in addition to the many other nutritious foods.

WIC is the nation’s premier preventative nutrition program with national research crediting WIC’s healthier food package for reduced preschool obesity rates. WIC participation reduces the incidence of anemia, improves the nutrients in the diets of women and children, saves healthcare dollars for every dollar spent on prenatal WIC participation just to name a few highlights.

Call the WIC office for an appointment in St Lucie West at 772-785-6124 or in Fort Pierce at 772-462-3900.