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Should WIC provide formula for moms capable of breastfeeding? **UPDATE**

Posted by on May. 12, 2012 at 1:29 AM
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A friend of mine is a peer counselor at the health dept and was telling me how much WIC spends on formula a year. I don't remember the exact number, and am mobile so I can't look it up right now, but I remember thinking it was ridiculously high.

If you receive WIC and choose to breastfeed, they have lactation consultants and peer counselors to help with any questions, support, etc. They provide you with a top of the line breast pump, storage bags, even a nifty little connector so you can use your car outlet to hook it up and pump on the go :)
I, personally, don't have an opinion on this but am curious as to what others think. I've seen people make the argument that welfare isn't a right and if you're capable of working, you should work. So, if a mom is capable of breastfeeding, should she?

ETA: My lactation consultant said that in her 18 yrs of her career, she's only seen 3 women that truly couldn't breastfeed. She said most women just lack knowledge and support.

UPDATE! Originally, I said I didn't have an opinion and was more curious as to what others think. I've now formed an opinion and here it goes... And please read it all before replying. I've repeated myself so much already, so I'm going to get it all out here:

1) For those saying it's a woman's right to choose what to do with her body: Yes, it is. But it's also your responsibility to provide for your family. WIC is a privilege, not a right. Nobody else is responsible for feeding your kid but you.. and if you have the means to feed your kid (breastfeeding), then WIC shouldn't be paying for your formula. If you want formula, buy it. If you can't afford it, breastfeed.

2) For those saying that they couldn't/can't breastfeed because of medical conditions or other logical reasons making them incapable to breastfeed, none of this applies to you. If you're doing all you can, feel free to go to WIC and get formula and feed your baby and continue to be an awesome mom.

3) If you just "don't want" to breastfeed, or you think it's gross, or you're not comfortable with it, or you're too depressed to breastfeed, or any of these other excuses: PLEASE suck it up and take care of your child. I know this sounds unsympathetic, but what do you think women did before WIC? They sucked it up and provided for their child. I've made a lot of sacrifices as a mom.. that's just a part of being a mom.

4) This has ZERO to do with my tax dollars. I don't really care what they do with my tax dollars, I have to pay them anyways. What I care about is that systems like WIC, while doing a LOT of good, are also enabling women to be selfish and dependent on other people. No, I don't think all women on WIC are selfish and lazy. I received WIC for food and milk, but I also breastfed exclusively and worked 70+ hours a week. For anyone to think that WIC or anyone else is expected to feed their kid, when the mom is perfectly capable of doing it themselves, totally baffles me.

5) I've said it at least 10 times in the replies, but this is NOT a bf vs ff debate. This is not about promoting breastfeeding, it's about promoting taking responsibility for your own family.

6) LAST BUT NOT LEAST -- NO, logistically speaking, I don't think WIC should ever deny a woman of formula, even if she absolutely refuses to breastfeed for whatever reason. I don't want any baby to starve, no matter how selfish their mom is.

by on May. 12, 2012 at 1:29 AM
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by on May. 12, 2012 at 1:31 AM
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by Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:38 AM
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Imho unless she has a medical reason as to why she cannot breastfeed, then WIC should not foot the bill. The money wasted can be used for other necessities.
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by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:38 AM
You don't care to elaborate?

Quoting McM0609:

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by "Dude!" on May. 12, 2012 at 1:39 AM
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 WIC isn't welfare, is it?  As for your topic, who gets to define "capable"?

by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:43 AM
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I'm not an expert, but the only way I can see to determine that is for the woman to attempt to breastfeed.

And I believe most people would classify WIC as being a type of welfare.

Quoting LauraKW:

 WIC isn't welfare, is it?  As for your topic, who gets to define "capable"?

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by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:44 AM
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no. Since when do we force women to do something with their body? a mother that doesnt want to brestfeed should not be forced to. One it isnt mentally healthy for the woman and it will make it harder on the baby. Number two a woman suffers enough with depression after giving birth and this could make it way worse and could end up hurting the child. Let women chose what is best for them.
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by on May. 12, 2012 at 1:46 AM
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This will be interesting to read tomorrow.

by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:48 AM
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I was capable of breast feeding. There was no physical reason why I couldn't have.

BUT I have Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus-1 & it can be passed through breast milk. So, since I didn't want my child to have it as well, I got on WIC to help with formula costs.

by New Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:49 AM
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 I think capable is too broad.  There are other reasons that make it less ideal in certain situations.

by Silver Member on May. 12, 2012 at 1:51 AM
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That depends.  If she is working, but still can't make ends meet, I would think it would be difficult to provide enough breast milk.  I know when I pumped at work, I could only pump enough for about half the day for my son.  I had to supplement with formula.

That's a really tough question.  I think if the mother has the time (SAHM, part time work), then maybe they pay partial.  It would be hard for me to just say no WIC at all because you can breastfeed.  And, part of WIC isn't just about the formula.  It's also about ensuring the mother is getting proper nutrition as well, thus passing it along to the child.

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