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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 (481-490):
mem82
by Member on May. 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Nora, weren't you trying to induce your last baby at 36 1/2 weeks? That's not to term, either. Oh, and don't bother private messaging me a bunch of curses. 8)

Quoting NoraDun:

Absolutely!!! Breastfeeding should be mandatory unless its impossible to do by the mother. But women should be forced to carry there unborn children to term, and gay's shouldn't be able to marry either....so anyway!


 what about foodstamps? they pay for formula too... so should we make it where they can't use foodstamps to buy them either?





radioheid
by Libertarian on May. 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM

 And for the 100th time, the government cannot mandate what women do with their bodies. By denying formula, babies go hungry. I mean, that IS what WIC is for, right? Ensuring women, INFANTS and children are fed, right? The choice is to force women to try to produce enough breastmilk to feed their babies, or ensure those babies are fed with formula. The answer is logical: provide formula.

Quoting mommychelle01:

For the 100th time, free formula isn't a right. You would still have the right to choose, your choice just may not come free.

Quoting radioheid:

 The government has no place ordering women to use their bodies in a certain manner. We don't force abortions or sterilization, nor do we force women to bear children, and why? ---The battle cry is always "women have rights over their own bodies". Yes, we should have the right to decide what we will do with our bodies, and that includes the right to decide whether or not we will breastfeed.


I always find it funny that women's rights end when they become pregnant. Once that egg is fertilized, women are transformed into farm animals with no rights.

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

pixie92
by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM

I will agree to disagree cause i know many women didn't just suck it up and do the breast feeding.

Quoting Ronique1989:

I'm fully aware of why WIC was created. And what happened to personal responsibility? You mean to tell me that if WIC didn't have a program for ffing moms, it would be the cause of issues for mothers and children? Funny, because mothers in the old days didn't have WIC and did a great job of sucking it up and doing what's best for their babies/sacrificing their feelings and desires to become awesome mothers.

I had PPD after having both of my kids. Extreme PPD. Breastfeeding never caused problems for myself nor my kids. There were/are times when my boobs hurt like hell from the constant feeding. Especially when my kids began to teeth. Even worse when they had a full set of teeth because they would sometimes bite. I never resented my kids for needing to eat to survive. I never resented them to needing a boob to comfort them. I gritted my teeth and ate that pain for breakfast.

Plenty of moms have to use foodstamps and pay for formula out of pocket. I can't tell you how many fb posts I've seen with mothers bitching about the cost of it and the only issues it causes is breaking a mother's pockets. The children are just fine.
And that stress that you speak of, if a mother to be decides that she does not want to breastfeed, then she should set money to the side to pay for formula. Besides, from what I've heard from WIC recipients of formula, what they give per month isn't close to being enough. So with or without WIC. They would be stressed. Motherhood in general is stressful at times. *shrugs shoulders* it's life.

Let's just agree to disagree. Bottom line, women SHOULD have a choice as to what they do with their bodies. Not once did I ever state that women should be forced to breastfeed. I just stated that agencies such as WIC shouldn't be forced to pick up the bill because a mother decided she doesn't want to breastfeed. WIC should have a choice in what freebies they decide to give out. Imho, WIC should only give formula to mothers and babies who have medical reasons as to why they cannot breastfed/digest or thrive off of breastmilk. Again, mho and I'm sticking to it.
Quoting pixie92:

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.




Velany
by on May. 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

i chose NOT to BF with my son...i was on assiatance at the time since my ex refused to help with DS but i was activily looking for work..so yes WIC helped...and i wasnt gonna make my parents pay for all the formula when DD came along...i tried to BF her but she kept spitting up the milk after every feeding and the nurses & doctors told me it was some kind of a tummy issue and she would no longer able to be BF and she was put onto Soy Formula....after a year old...she was placed on whole milk and if that didnt help she would go onto Soy...her tummy ended up being able to handle the whole so she didnt need the soy after all.

she is almost 5 now and still has a few dairy issues but its not as bad as it was when she was a newborn.

SerenityBerry
by on May. 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Yes, WIC should provide formula for moms who are physically capable of breast feeding. Being physically capable of nursing doesn't mean that they are pyschologically, or circumstionally able to.  Some woman need to be on medications that they shouldn't take while nursing, some may be single mothers who work two jobs and don't have time for pumping and nursing, and others may be dealing with certain mental stressors that would make it difficult for them to nurse. Even woman who breast feed may need to supplement with formula for various reasons ( I was actually told to do just that by both the lactation consultant and my daughters' doctors). So yes WIC should still provide formula to moms who can breast feed.

areid1023
by Silver Member on May. 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

haha oh snap!!

Quoting mem82:

Nora, weren't you trying to induce your last baby at 36 1/2 weeks? That's not to term, either. Oh, and don't bother private messaging me a bunch of curses. 8)

Quoting NoraDun:

Absolutely!!! Breastfeeding should be mandatory unless its impossible to do by the mother. But women should be forced to carry there unborn children to term, and gay's shouldn't be able to marry either....so anyway!


 what about foodstamps? they pay for formula too... so should we make it where they can't use foodstamps to buy them either?




 my little bug! 11-29-08

Thomigirl
by Gold Member on May. 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh STFU already.  Next it'll be why are we paying for diapers?  They can use cloth.  To hell with certain foods.  If they have space in their homes, grow a garden.  Feed YOUR baby and MYOFB

babymaycker
by on May. 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

here is what I would do. 

first, you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. but you can tell this horse the location of the water, the nutrients in the water, how to drink the water and the risks associated with not drinking water. but the horse may not want the water. accept it.

you cant tell a woman to breastfeed just because she has the goods. but you can educate them. so many women dont breastfeed or end bfing early due to misinformation or a lack of education. these women may not understand how to overcome barriers, their rights in the workplace as breastfeeding mothers, the increased risks of certain ailments from formula. armed with knowledge, some women who wouldnt normally breastfeed may choose to. again its their choice. WIC should require a breastfeeding class prior to delivery so the choice that is made is an educated one. but a woman should not be penalized for her choice to not breastfeed. or rather, her child should not suffer. nor should any woman be made to feel bad for the choices they make. the reasons a woman chooses formula are her own. my goal would be to eliminate a percentage who choose formula without more information. what they choose after that is their business. 

furthermore. i dont know how wic works when it comes to formula as i have only ever recieved it for groceries, so please dont put me under fire. 

but wic is a supplemental program. it provides a small portion of a family's groceries. it does not offer 100% of what a family would eat in a month. a woman is required to feed her family not on wic alone. its used as a tool to offset costs of living. so one or two cans of formula a month (i dont even know how much is usually used so im just shooting blind here with my figures) would be reasonable but WIC should never foot the entire bill. just as they wouldnt provide 100% of a family's groceries. 

also, a woman on wic is required to reapply or resubmit eligibility every so often. the women on this program need it. their babies need it. and im glad it is available. its a MUCH better option than the happenstance of a woman not having the money for formula and using the "stretch' technique of a higher water:formula ratio and the child becoming ill or malnourished.

im an advocate of breastfeeding, i study lactation in school. i sing its praises and its benefits to the high heavems. but telling a needy mother that we wont provide food for her child, though she has proven need, because she chooses to not breastfeed is a scare tactic. rather than try to eliminate those who do not want to breastfeed, lets work with those who are eager to, but fall into booby traps that end the bf relationship early. supply issues, latching issues, pumping issues, working issues, allergies in the baby that can be changed with mothers diet...these things can all be worked with to continue success in a willing mother. 

maybe also offer seminars or something to encourage women to breastfeed or to answer questions about it. some may not know about it, some may feel uncomfortable. maybe they need to discuss things with a lactation consultant or even a counselor. there may be barriers that can be overcome, but we need to accept it...not all women will want to breastfeed, regardless of research, or availability of formula. so we need to look out for those babies.


give options, not ultimatims.


just my $0.02

:)


suzhawkfan
by on May. 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Nicely said!!  I have never been on WIC and I have never been able to breastfeed.  The first time - No milk, second time-baby couldn't suck, third baby - severely jaundiced.  Also each had a hard time with regular formula and the sensitive formulas are very expensive.  I really REALLy get tired of people who think they can have baby after baby and are entitled to have everyone else pay for them.  Thank you for speaking out!

mommychelle01
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

I don't think WIC should really cut off anyone and deny formula.. because unfortunately, there are so many moms that wouldn't take responsibilty and do what's right for their child. But no, logically, the woman should feed her own kid and not depend on someone else to do it for her IF she is capable of doing it herself.

Quoting radioheid:

 And for the 100th time, the government cannot mandate what women do with their bodies. By denying formula, babies go hungry. I mean, that IS what WIC is for, right? Ensuring women, INFANTS and children are fed, right? The choice is to force women to try to produce enough breastmilk to feed their babies, or ensure those babies are fed with formula. The answer is logical: provide formula.

Quoting mommychelle01:

For the 100th time, free formula isn't a right. You would still have the right to choose, your choice just may not come free.

Quoting radioheid:

 The government has no place ordering women to use their bodies in a certain manner. We don't force abortions or sterilization, nor do we force women to bear children, and why? ---The battle cry is always "women have rights over their own bodies". Yes, we should have the right to decide what we will do with our bodies, and that includes the right to decide whether or not we will breastfeed.


I always find it funny that women's rights end when they become pregnant. Once that egg is fertilized, women are transformed into farm animals with no rights.

 


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