PARKERSBURG — Raising a family can be challenging; the Women’s, Infant, and Children program (WIC) at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department (MOVHD) is here to help.
WIC offers a variety of services designed to help families live a healthy life.
Services and benefits offered are personalized nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, free healthy food and health care referrals when needed.
WIC is available to pregnant women, breastfeeding women, postpartum women up to six months after delivery, and children up to their fifth birthday. Applicants must also meet income guidelines. Income guidelines can be found by visiting the WIC tab at the movhd.com website.
The West Virginia WIC Program provides an average of $41.15 in healthy foods each month for every participant. Foods include milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, cereal, juice, fruits and vegetables, dried or canned beans, peanut butter, whole grain breads, pastas and tortillas, infant formula and medical foods and baby foods.
Some benefits of WIC participation:
* Children age 1 to 2 who participate in WIC have lower dental related Medicaid costs
* Participation in WIC reduces the chance of having a very low birth weight baby
* Children who receive WIC benefits have higher quality diets
* More WIC children receive access to preventive health care including pediatric and dental visits and referrals to other social programs
* Children participating in WIC have higher rates of immunization
Women deciding to breastfeed can take advantage of the breastfeeding support personnel. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it does not always come easily for baby and/or mother. Having someone available to help coach the mother through the process, give tips on being successful as well provide materials can help the mother be successful. WIC also offers breastfeeding support groups where mothers can talk to and support each other.
WIC at Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department serves pregnant mothers and children in nine counties – Calhoun, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood. In 2018, WIC had a monthly caseload of 3,967. For more information on the WIC program and to find out if you are eligible, call 304-428-3688.
Editor’s Note: The following column was written by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, based in Parkersburg.