Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WIC - Friend or Foe?

First, I'd like to point out that I loved, LOVED my hospital. I had a great experience there, the room was comfy, it had all sorts of amenities (stereo, whirlpool, etc) and the bed was a queen sized REGULAR bed. I just didn't care for the food so much. I discovered just mere hours before checking out that there was a "pantry" stocked full of yogurts, cookies, and all sorts of goodies. I had sent my husband back there for milk, but he neglected to tell me about all the goodies. Lesson learned and I will definitely be venturing there this next time around.

Second, I realize I am covering a lot of news and articles around here. When I signed up to do this, I was a bit worried that I haven't actually started breastfeeding again yet - what the heck would I talk about?? So far, I've had plenty to talk about, but I hope folks don't think that I will just be posting news and articles all the time. After Anjali is born, my goal is to do a 2-3 week Daily BoobLog to document those first few weeks and then from there, my breasts can take center stage (sorta). I've noticed even with my son, that I already have the tendency to say "oh, the first few weeks were a hard, but then it was a piece of cake!" I'd like to document exactly just how hard it can be - my hope is that if a new mom comes across this site, she can see some realistic breastfeeding experiences and not feel so alone if she doesn't have a support group, close friend or family member that she can turn to. I did have a support group, close friend and family member to turn to, so this is my small way to try and pay it forward.

Okay, moving on to today's article. I am a little shocked by audacity of this one where the author states that WIC funding for formula should be ended. I sorta see their premise on a high level. But. BUT. It could be argued that breastfeeding for working mothers is a privilege (my understanding is that a lot of WIC mothers ARE working, but are financially strapped). First, you need to have a job that is conducive to pumping - many lower paying jobs (I'm thinking retail and production line) would not be conducive to pumping. Every gal I've known who has pumped at work has had a difficult time fitting it into their schedule - professionals and non-professionals alike. I can't imagine how much harder it would be for a lower level worker to push the pumping issue, particularly if they feel their job is insecure anyway. Second, the equipment needed for pumping is often expensive. I bought a cheap electric pump myself and it did not go well with the expressing because the pump was crap. Yes, I realize that overall, formula would be more expensive than pumping, but when a gal is already strapped for cash, she may be hesitant to fork over the big bucks for a pump when she's not sure how long she will even get to breastfeed. I am not financially struggling, but was hesitant myself to pay even the $50 for an electric pump at a time when I wasn't even sure how it was going to go yet. I did buy the pump, but I had the luxury to take that gamble. So, I can't say that I would support a measure that would take formula out of the WIC program. However, I would totally support something within the WIC program that allowed coupons/stipends towards breastfeeding paraphernalia - say, towards a pump, nursing pads, etc..

No comments: