Special to Iredell Free News

The Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Clinic at the Iredell County Health Department has been recognized by USDA Food and Nutrition Service Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor for exemplary service in assisting mothers with initiating and continuing to breastfeed their babies.

Breastfeeding offers significant health benefits. It lowers a baby’s risk of various illnesses, including ear infections, asthma, and respiratory infections. It helps moms recover much faster from childbirth; and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and certain breast and ovarian cancers. Breastfeeding also helps with weight loss after childbirth. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed without supplementing with infant formula for a minimum of six months.

“Award winners are WIC agencies that support WIC breastfeeding goals through the highest quality breastfeeding promotion and support activities and serve as models for other local agencies to strengthen breastfeeding among WIC participants,” Taylor said. “We congratulate those clinics in the Southeast region that are doing outstanding jobs of helping women access WIC Breastfeeding Support services.”

The Iredell County WIC Clinic received the Gold WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence. This award was only bestowed upon 24 health department WIC programs in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and six WIC programs in North Carolina.

About WIC

WIC is a federally funded Nutrition Program that improves access to healthy food options for mothers, children and families. Our goal is to help prevent childhood hunger and to help you and your family off to a good start in life. The WIC Clinic located at the Iredell County Health Department provides breastfeeding support, healthy food, nutrition counseling, and referrals for health care. In North Carolina, WIC programs serves more than 270,000 women, infants, and children each month. For WIC services, including breastfeeding support, call 704-878-5319 to make an appointment. For more information about the Iredell County WIC Program, visit https://www.iredellcountync.gov/212/Women-Infant-Children-WIC-Nutrition-Serv