Mohave County WIC

By the end of this lesson: 

Participants will be able to identify three breastfeeding benefits that are important to them.

Participants will learn at least two new breastfeeding benefits.

Participants will address one concern they may have about initiating breastfeeding and state one possible solution.

Participants will identify one support system (family member, friend, or WIC Certified Lactation Educator).

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Welcome to the Mohave County WIC website.  If you are a WIC participant, please enter your name and date of birth.  Type only one name if more than one family member is a participant along with their birth date.


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Activity 1:  List three reasons why you think breastfeeding your baby is important.


There are many benefits to breastfeeding for both mom and baby.  Throughout this lesson we will discuss these benefits in detail.  You may even be surprised with all the new and interesting benefits being discovered.  This lesson is designed to inform and teach you why both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization, along with many other experts around the world, promote breastfeeding as the BEST way to feed your infant.  Remember, we at WIC encourage breastfeeding and support moms throughout their breastfeeding experience  - but ultimately, the choice is YOURS.  The goal of this lesson is to help you make an informed decision about how you will choose to feed your newborn.  All the information provided is adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the American Dietetics Association, and La Leche League International.  Have fun and keep an open mind! 

Activity 2: Please choose one

I plan to breastfeed my baby at birth
I plan to formula feed my baby at birth
I have not decided if I will breastfeed or use formula

Let's Look At Some Benefits of Breastfeeding For Your BABY:


1.) Bonding: It's more than food!  

Baby knows mother through all senses: smell of mother,                                                              hears mother's heart beat, skin to skin contact.
A way to comfort baby when she/he is fussy or ill.
Fulfills baby's need for closeness, security.

2.) Mother's Milk is a Superior Infant Food:

Contains all necessary nutrients.
All nutrients are in correct proportions.
Breastmilk changes as baby's need (growth) changes.
The taste of breastmilk changes with mom's diet - unlike infant formulas.  Babies that are breastfed are not as likely to be "picky eaters" when they are toddlers.
DIGESTS EASILY: no constipation, less colic, and less spitting up as compared with infant formulas!

3.) Colostrum: the Perfect First Food

Colostrum comes from the breasts in the first few days after birth.  
It is a thick, typically clear or yellow fluid.
It is high in protein that is needed for baby's brain growth.
It is lower in fats and carbohydrates than mature milk and thus lower in calories, making it more easily digested by the newborn.
Colostrum has a laxative effect.  It helps baby get rid of meconium, the first black, tarry stools.
It contains many antibodies that provide protection from infection and illness.
Colostrum and its beneficial properties is NOT duplicated in infant formulas!

4.) Promotes Good Health:

Breastmilk provides antibodies to protect against infection - infant formulas DO NOT provide these antibodies.
Breastfed babies have:
    fewer illnesses and hospitalizations
    faster recovery when ill
    fewer allergies
    reduced chance of obesity
    fewer tummy aches from overfeeding
    less diaper rash or eczema
    fewer ear infections
    significantly higher IQ

    reduced risk of childhood cancers such as lymphoma and Hodgkin's Disease

    less likely to develop Diabetes
    less likely to die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

Activity 3: Which benefit of breastfeeding for your baby listed above do you think is most important?

Now Let's Look At Some Benefits of Breastfeeding For MOM:

1.) Emotional Benefits:

Increases mom's self confidence.
Ensures close physical contact.
Prolactin (the "mothering hormone") relaxes mom.
Feels good.
Comforting a sick or well baby is easier.
Night feedings are easier - you don't have to get up in the middle of the night                                          to prepare a bottle!  Mom gets more rest.

2.) Physical Benefits:

Decreases postpartum bleeding.
Reduces risk of breast cancer.
Aids in natural weight loss: breastfeeding your baby burns 500 calories a day!! 

Activity 4: Which benefits of breastfeeding for mom listed above are new information to you?

The Benefits of Breastfeeding For the Entire FAMILY:

1.) Mom Has a Free Hand:

To play with or pay attention to a sibling.

To read a book.

To eat dinner.

2.) Baby Is More Enjoyable:

Baby has softer skin.
Baby has sweeter smell.
Bowel movements smell better.
Breast milk has less odor, does not stain.

3.) Saves Money:

Fewer doctor bills.
No stained clothes.
No baby food needed for first six months.
Breast milk is free - infant formula can cost up to $3,600.00 a year!  Remember, WIC is a supplemental food program, even if you receive formula from WIC you will still need to purchase more to last the entire month.

Click Here to view the 42 reasons to Breastfeed.  Feel free to print out a copy!

Some Common Concerns Women Have:

1.) Embarrassing: Breasts are sometimes  looked at as sexual objects and not infant feeding organs.  Breastfeeding can be done discreetly (as seen in photo) by using a blanket, shawl, or even loose fitting clothing the baby can fit under.

2.) Loss of Freedom: Many women think they cannot return to work if they breastfeed.  In fact, many working women successfully breastfeed by using a pump at work.  If you do not work in an environment where you can pump, a schedule can be established to breastfeed while you are at home with baby.  WIC offers electric pumps for working moms - just ask!!

3.) Breastfeeding is Painful: Breastfeeding should NOT be painful! If it is, consult your local WIC certified lactation educator.

4.) Breasts are Not Big Enough: Breast size has NOTHING to do with milk production.

5.) Concerns about Inadequate Diet: Fact is, even women in third world countries, whose diets consist of mainly rice, successfully breastfeed.  Your diet does play a role in breastfeeding, mom should consume about 500 extra calories per day.  Even if your diet is lacking this, your milk will still be adequate.  It is recommended that you continue taking your pre-natal vitamins throughout your breastfeeding experience.

6.) Lack of Confidence: YOU CAN DO IT!!  Just relax, and keep an open mind.  Every Mohave County WIC clinic has a certified lactation educator who would be more than happy to help you in any way!  


Have a Support System:

 Inform your doctor of your decision to breastfeed.

Find an advocate/supporter (can be father, mother, friend) and bring them with you to the hospital.

Inform the hospital staff of your breastfeeding decision.       

Activity 5: Who can be your advocate/supporter?


Activity 6: What is your biggest concern about initiating breastfeeding at birth and what is one way you could overcome this barrier?


Activity 7: Please choose one

I plan to breastfeed my baby at birth
I plan to formula feed my baby at birth
I have not decided if I will breastfeed or use formula

Special thanks to WABA for providing photos.



For more information on breastfeeding try 

Which WIC Office do you go to?

Bullhead City
Lake Havasu City

Where are you taking today's lesson?


Check out our "Breastfeeding Part 2 : The Basics" online class!!


You have completed the Pregnancy Class on “Breastfeeding Part 1: the Benefits”.  If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail one of our certified lactation educators.  We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions.

In Kingman you may contact a Nutritionist at
In Bullhead City you may contact a Nutritionist at
In Lake Havasu City you may contact a Nutritionist at


** If you have an extra minute, please fill out our survey on the WIC home page (where you chose this class) so we can better serve you.  Thank You.

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Revised: August 25, 2004
Webmaster: Sarah Defelice