So, you just found out you’re pregnant and you’re wondering if you need to change your diet. You’d also like information on breastfeeding and you’re worried about the additional costs associated with newborns.
The Women Infants & Children program (WIC) may not completely eliminate the stress and uncertainty associated with having a baby, but it does offer nutritional guidance from Licensed Dietitians, breastfeeding support from International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants, referrals to other programs and an electronic benefits card to buy nutritious food and artificial baby milk, if necessary.
And there’s no waiting for a pregnancy confirmation. No waiting for the birth.
“Once you find out you’re pregnant, you can apply,” said Reginald Shagoury, Public Health Nutrition Program Director. “We help families ensure a healthy beginning for their baby from pregnancy until the child is five years old. We want families to receive the benefits and services WIC provides.”
Best of all? WIC is FREE.
Families are eligible if household income is below 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
That means monthly income under $1,926 for one person, $2,607 for two, $3,289 for a family of four, etc. Florida Medicaid recipients qualify automatically.
What foods are covered? Cereal, whole grains (bread, rice, tortillas, pasta), canned tuna and salmon, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, beans, fruit juice and more.
In addition to nutrition services, Department Of Health (DOH)-Broward offers free dental fluoride varnish to children up to age 20 in WIC-eligible families. The treatment, which comes in kid-friendly flavors and is painted onto the teeth, prevents cavities.
All WIC services are available at the seven Broward offices in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Sunrise, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes.
For more information: 954-767-5111 or http://broward.floridahealth.gov. Appointments are available.