Breastfeeding Support

Your body is built for breastfeeding.  Breastmilk is one of the most important gifts you can give your baby.  Breastmilk is the best food for infants, providing them with health benefits that last for years to come. UNFHCC Erie WIC supports breastfeeding as the best way to feed your baby.  The UNFHCC Erie WIC Program supports breastfeeding in many different ways. We have Certified Lactation Counselors on staff and all of our Nutritionists receive special training in breastfeeding support, so they are able to answer questions a mother may have about breastfeeding and offer needed support.

Our knowledge in breastfeeding is used to help educate and support our clients who are enrolled in the WIC program. When you are pregnant, we will tell you about the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks of formula feeding.



UNFHCC Erie WIC will also provide you with educational material for you to read at home.  We want you to make an educated decision about breastfeeding your baby.  If you decide to breastfeed, then we will begin to educate you about how to latch the baby at the hospital, how to hold your baby while breastfeeding, how often to feed your baby, how to make sure you have an adequate milk supply, etc.  

UNFHCC Erie WIC celebrates World Breastfeeding Month every year and our breastfeeding mothers and infants always receive a special gift for their breastfeeding efforts during the month of August. Last year, babies received a beautiful baby onesie and mothers received a cute carrying bag.

We are happy to help you and your baby during your breastfeeding journey and we treat our clients like family. Welcome to UNFHCC Erie WIC. 

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Although research shows that exclusively breastfeeding for a year is considered the ideal amount of time to provide the most health benefits, any length of time a mom breastfeeds, even while supplementing with formula, can provide some overall protection. In conclusion: Any amount of breastfeeding is better than none at all!

  • Breastfeeding helps by lowering the infant's risk of certain infections and diseases including ear infections, asthma, lower respiratory infections, pediatric obesity, SIDS, etc.
  • Increases the bond between mom and baby.
  • Breastmilk consists of all the essential vitamins and minerals your baby needs to help grow healthy and strong. Colostrum is the "golden" milk that is made during pregnancy and produced right after delivery. Once ingested by the infant, it helps coat and protects the baby's digestive system from disease and infection and promotes the immune and growth factors to activate in the newborn's immune system.
  • Breast milk is totally free! No need to buy formula! Breastmilk also helps keep infants healthy which means fewer doctor visits and keeps health costs low.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient! Breastmilk is always ready for whenever an infant is hungry! It saves time because there's no need to make and warm up a bottle of formula.

Challenges of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be challenging at times and that's ok! Your journey will be filled with feelings of accomplishment and, at times, frustration. Not every breastfeeding experience is the same and questions and concerns are common. WIC is there to help you through common breastfeeding challenges and solutions every step of the way!

Please don't hesitate to reach out to your WIC office to speak to a staff member about addressing your breastfeeding concerns.

Milk Expression/Finding a Breast Pump

Although feeding from the breast is ideal, milk expression can be useful in certain situations and can still help you achieve and meet your breastfeeding goals. If you are interested in pumping during your breastfeeding journey, there are options for you to explore.

Generally, health insurance companies will have the ability to provide pumps but only if the mother is eligible to receive one. The best way to find out if you're covered is by contacting your provider before delivery.

If the insurance company is unable to issue a pump, WIC offers a Breast Pump Program. You may be able to borrow a breast pump from WIC if certain conditions are met and the insurance company is unable to provide you with one. Contact your current WIC office if you believe you may be eligible for a breast pump!

Apply for WIC

Get access to free nutritious foods, breastfeeding support, education, counseling, and more.