The Lifesaving Gift of Breastfeeding

The Lifesaving Gift of Breastfeeding“I was 23 years old and terrified the first time I walked into WIC. My birth control had failed and I found myself thrown into a foreign world. Besides the typical fears first time moms have – for their unborn babies, impending labor and of course the constant thought that my body is ruined – I had the added fear of how does a poor single woman from Lorain provide for another human being?! I struggled to care for myself alone. And so great was my fear that I couldn’t support a child that I spent my entire first trimester researching adoption.

As I searched for ways to provide for a family, I found myself at WIC. I expected to get some stamps or coupons to help with food but I had no idea of the wealth of support and information they would offer.

As a child I was breastfed and so I planned to breastfeed. But only because that was what my mom did. At WIC they taught me the hundreds of benefits of breastfeeding. The more I learned, the more excited and passionate I became about breastfeeding. And of course one HUGE perk is it’s free (saving moms $2,000-4,000 a year)! WIC also provided amazing breastfeeding tools that I use daily (to this day!) such as a breastfeeding cover and pump which I would have struggled to afford and probably would have not purchased on my own.

As I learned more I decided to “term” breastfeed my daughter (some people call it extended breastfeeding). I read of all the benefits breastfeeding can offer to toddlers and decided to let my daughter self wean when she is ready. When my daughter was 2 I had my second child. She breastfed throughout my pregnancy and we are now tandem nursing. My son (8lb 6oz at birth) is 8 weeks and over 12 pounds and my daughter is a thriving, happy, healthy little girl.

I hear a lot of people say how hard breastfeeding was when they first started. And I have certainly had my struggles throughout my two years of breastfeeding. But I can honestly say that I’ve never once thought of quitting because of the arsenal of information and support I’m armed with. I know that this is something fully worth doing and that I absolutely can do. Thank you WIC for the lifesaving gift of breastfeeding (and everything else). And thank you to all those who support WIC so that they can continue to nourish families in our community.”

Hannah, Lorain County, OH WIC