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

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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
Replies (41-50):
Ashtonsmommy21
by on May. 12, 2012 at 2:10 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't think anyone should be forced to do something they don't want to. If a mom doesn't want to breastfeed then she shouldn't have to and WIC provides help for moms who breastfeed so it would make sense that it provides help for moms who don't. I breastfed for 3 months I could never get my son to latch on right and he was always hungry I didn't really know a lot about all the help I could've gotten. We switched to formula which I paid for and when we moved out of my parents house we used WIC to help us with formula for two months before my son stopped using it.

I do plan on breastfeeding and using whatever help I can get from a lactation specialist when have a second child but that's my opinion. My best friend just had her baby and she never tried to breastfeed because she thought it was weird and sexual and that was her opinion.
SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on May. 12, 2012 at 2:10 AM
1 mom liked this

So, what else should the government provide to those who "can't afford everything" so that they get an "equal" choice?    Formula feeding isn't a right, it's an option.   If you can't afford that option, then choose something you can afford.

(for the record here, I'm not actually in favor of what is proposed in the OP for many logistical reasons... I'm just arguing the point for the fun of it). 


Quoting pixie92:

When did i say it was the only one? wic helps women living within a lower budget so why on earth are we trying to say that only the wealthy have a choice? im sorry but im so tired of the attack on women that cant afford everything without help.


Quoting SewingMamaLele:

Since when is WIC the only place a person can get formula?



Quoting pixie92:

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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mommychelle01
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 2:10 AM
1 mom liked this
Again, that would be considered a valid medical reason not to bf.

My stance on it is this... I believe women should at least try to bf (unless theres a medical reason not to) if they're going to be receiving WIC. But no, I don't think benefits should be cut off, leaving the infant to starve. While ideally, it should be the mom's responsibilty to make sure her infant is fed (meaning she bf, even if she doesn't want to because that's what moms do -- we make sacrifices) ..Unfortunately, there's probably a good number that would just let the baby go hungry. So yes, WIC should still provide formula no matter what. But woman should be doing their part, IF capable.


Quoting Mashnut3161:

 I think they should. I don't think it is anyones place to Push BF on a woman, I would rather a woman have formula available to feed her child so the child can eat, then have the child starve bc the mom won't breastfeed. I'm sorry, But if it means I pay taxes to feed all the starving children, Then I will gladly do that. Yes in a perfect world all women would try to BF, but its not as simple as being able to lactate. I couldn't BF due to my medications that I could not stop do to my health. Would you rather my baby starve. Bc I am not going to trust milk from a donor. sorry. not gonna happen.

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skylaelise12
by on May. 12, 2012 at 2:11 AM
4 moms liked this

Hell no! I am a new mother and I choose NOT to breast feed... why? Because I don't want to. It's a womens CHOICE. 

momma2b2008
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 2:11 AM
I agree with you! You have a medical condition as to where you canno bf. But I am talking about the people, like one of my best friends, who is more than capable of doing so, doesnt want to bf, because her DH likes her boobs and she doesn't want it to become an issue between them, among a huge list of other extreemly selfish reason (IMO) as to why she isn't (she is due in July) going to bf.

I'm sorry about the rude nurse. It sounds like the was completely unprofessional!


Quoting lovinmykiddo07:


Quoting momma2b2008:

No, I don't think that they should. I know this goes a step farther, but I also don't think that hospitals should hand out formula so easily. I think that you should HAVE to at least attempt while you are in the hospital to breastfeed.

I replied earlier why I didn't breast feed. I have a medical condition that is passed through breast milk. Apparently the nurse I had didn't think that was a good enough reason & got super pissy when I refused to breast feed. My doctor told her not to give him a bottle, to wait & let me feed him first. But she ignored her & rudely shoved a bottle in my newborn son's mouth & made a comment about young mom's not even trying to breast feed. :'( I think if the nurses are made aware (which she was, she was just too ignorant to listen) of a medical condition, that they should loosen up a bit about it.

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SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on May. 12, 2012 at 2:12 AM

Well, that would make a person a part of the group who was not capable of breastfeeding, and thus eligible for formula (in this scenario).

Quoting lovinmykiddo07:

Its not. But it sure  makes things a lot easier when you dont have a choice but to formula feed.

Quoting SewingMamaLele:

Since when is WIC the only place a person can get formula?

Quoting pixie92:

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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pixie92
by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2012 at 2:12 AM
1 mom liked this
actually she wouldnt have to breast feed the child. She would have to spend her money on it or food stamps. Both of which could have bad issues on the woman and possibly other children. Again the program was created to help women and infants not force them to do what others want them to do. I promise more stress on the new mother and child is not healthy for them.


Quoting Ronique1989:

Since when did wasting money for fake milk when the mother has the goods a great idea? That could be extra WIC cash for fruit and veggies, etc. It could be used for other programs within WIC such as breastpumps, nutritional cooking classes etc etc I could go on all day for the many uses that WIC can use the money. If a woman doesn't want to breastfeed her kid, fine it's her decision. However, she shouldn't expect or demand financial aid because of it. If WIC didn't exist, guess what that woman would have to do? BREASTFEED. Now if the woman or baby has a medical reason as to why the mother couldn't/shouldn't breastfeed, or the baby has a bad reaction, is a preemie and needs the extra calories or cannot digest it, then it would not be a waste of money.



Quoting pixie92:

since when is spending money on food for a baby a waste?






Quoting Ronique1989:

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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littlelambe2
by on May. 12, 2012 at 2:14 AM
2 moms liked this

FYI the law protects a woman's right to pump at work (for most positions in most locations). However, a lot of employers are not understanding and treat lactating and pumping women unfairly. Another one to add to your list is a restaurant employee. Although the woman may be "capable", she may not be given the support outside of the WIC office to have a successful go at it.

Quoting LauraKW:

 Is a woman's job taken into consideration as to whether she is "capable"?  For instance, a bus driver.  I'm not positive, but I doubt she is going to have a location to pump several times each day.  A cab driver, a waitress, a Wal-Mart employee, a janitor, a toll booth attendant - off the top of my head, these workers are likely not going to have a clean private location where they can pump at least twice each day.  The cashier at the gas station, the lady at the carwash, the cleaning lady who goes from house to house, the drive-thru worker at McD's - I don't see these people having the environment to pump their breasts.

Quoting mommychelle01:

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"?

 


Soulmate-2-R
by Member on May. 12, 2012 at 2:14 AM


Quoting Ronique1989:

Since when did wasting money for fake milk when the mother has the goods a great idea? That could be extra WIC cash for fruit and veggies, etc. It could be used for other programs within WIC such as breastpumps, nutritional cooking classes etc etc I could go on all day for the many uses that WIC can use the money. If a woman doesn't want to breastfeed her kid, fine it's her decision. However, she shouldn't expect or demand financial aid because of it. If WIC didn't exist, guess what that woman would have to do? BREASTFEED. Now if the woman or baby has a medical reason as to why the mother couldn't/shouldn't breastfeed, or the baby has a bad reaction, is a preemie and needs the extra calories or cannot digest it, then it would not be a waste of money.

Quoting pixie92:

since when is spending money on food for a baby a waste?




Quoting Ronique1989:

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.

i used wic for a short time and if it didn't exist than i would have found another way to get formula...i would NOT have bf....wic is not the only place to seek assistance with things if you are in a tough spot...to me bf was never an option and i never considered it. before my child was born i already knew i would never bf under any circumstances

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on May. 12, 2012 at 2:14 AM

 That would be my concern as well.

Quoting fantasticalmama:

Lactations consultants are paid to get you to breastfeed, whether government funded or private. I have watched many a newborn come into the hospital for malnutrition because the lactation consultant scared the hell out of a new mother. Who is going to be the one to determine if a mother is capable of breastfeeding? Is someone going to make her physically prove that she can not provide enough milk-that's a disturbing thought or is a lactation consultant going to say the mother just needs to try more? I'm not anti breastfeeding, I just think that too much stress is put on new mothers because of the beliefs of others. As long as people don't want to see starving babies on mainstreet, U.S.A there will always be WIC and food stamps. In emergency situations WIC is an awesome program. However, too many people rely on it as a support system to raising their children.  Then again, the 400.00 max a month that the state has to pay a mother on WIC is a hell of alot cheaper than the 1,000 plus it would cost to put them in foster care. 

 

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