Staying connected to the community, especially the “mom community,” is a priority for us at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT). Yes, we want ALL moms to know about non-profit milk banking, but we also want moms to know we also function as a supporting organization for breastfeeding, moms and babies, and of course, dads too.
Participating in events such as the WIC Spring Celebration in east Dallas last week was a great way for us to not only educate moms about donor milk, but to advocate for breastfeeding in general. We also got a huge “baby fix” seeing all the little ones and met some amazing mothers and educators.
A lot of us recognize the WIC acronym, but aren’t really sure what the program does and why. WIC (short for Women, Infants and Children) is a health and nutrition program for infants, children and pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women who are at risk for nutrition-related illnesses.
Established in 1974, WIC is funded through grants from the Federal Government and is administered by state agencies. Services are provided in all 50 states at a variety of community clinic locations including hospitals, county health departments and schools. Because the main focus of WIC is educating mothers about proper nutrition for babies and young children, the organization promotes breastfeeding through education, counseling and incentive-based programs.
- WIC mothers choosing to breastfeed are provided information through counseling and breastfeeding educational materials.
- Breastfeeding mothers receive follow-up support through peer counselors.
- Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers.
- Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants receive an enhanced food package.
- Breastfeeding mothers can receive breast pumps to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding.
The Texas WIC website is available in English and Spanish and offers online breastfeeding support as well as a Breastfeeding Hotline: 800-514-6667
MMBNT has partnered with several WIC clinics that serve as milk collection sites called “depots”. For moms who want to drop off surplus breastmilk, these depots offer a convenient location close to home. Frozen milk is then delivered to the milk bank for processing and distribution before it is dispensed to premature and critically ill infants.
For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.