WIC Office San Diego

The NCHS WIC Program is here for you to provide proper nutrition to pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, new mothers and young children to improve healthy eating and nutrition to improve overall wellness.

Offered through the USDA, WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children. The purpose of the WIC Program is to prevent health problems during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as during an infants’ earliest days of childhood. The programs strive to improve the health of women and children during these important times of growth and development. 

Being pregnant and making wise healthcare decisions for a child is a big responsibility, and the last thing a mother wants to do is handle the entire process on her own. While many women have the mental fortitude, the resources, and a support system from their family to handle the birth and growth of their newborn, having access to the WIC Program will give them extra resources and expertise to help them take care of themselves and their child even more effectively.

NCHS, at the very least, wants to give you the knowledge and resources you need to make the best decisions and take care of your child and keep him or her healthy. For the women or families that need a little extra help, the WIC offices in North County are here to help with our specialized WIC Programs.

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WIC Program

Our WIC offices place an emphasis on supporting mothers as they give birth to their children and create a healthy environment for them. The earliest years of any individual are some of the most important and some of the most vulnerable, which is why it’s so important for women and their families to utilize the services of the WIC program.

Women and other guardians of young children (where applicable) will get additional information and resources to help them make more informed decisions about giving birth, raising an infant, how to treat health conditions, where to go for help, and much more. Our WIC office is here for you to make the entire process easier.

We don’t want you feeling alone, which is why we at NCHS have multiple locations available to you throughout North County San Diego. If you’re looking for a WIC office “near me,” scroll down to find our seven primary locations that will help you schedule a WIC appointment.

The San Diego WIC Program is here to: 

  • Reduce complications of pregnancy
  • Promote health birth outcomes and prevent low birth weight babies
  • Reduce iron deficiency anemia in women, infants and children
  • Promote and support breastfeeding
  • Promote optimum growth and development of infants and young children.

Can you benefit from the WIC Program? WIC is available to the following groups of people upon meeting eligibility criteria:

  • Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have recently had a baby
  • Infants under 12 months old
  • Children under 5 years old (includes foster children, grandchildren & children of single fathers)

Who Is Eligible?

If a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding and a health professional finds them in the “nutritional risk” category, they may be eligible for the WIC program. Additionally, children up to the age of five are eligible if they are also identified to be at risk of not being able to have a nutritionally balanced diet due to income restrictions. The WIC program is provided by the state or federal government and is based on annual income. For a family of one, the guideline is about $22,000 annually to qualify for the program. For a family of two, it is about $30,000, and as the family size grows, the annual income to qualify will increase by about 6-8 thousand dollars. Click here for income guidelines.

What Is “Nutrition Risk”?

Nutritional risk is determined by a health professional, such as a nutrition expert, nurse, or physician, through a health screening that is free and based on federal guidelines. There are medically-based risks and diet-based risks that make up the two major categories of nutrition risk.

Where Is WIC Available?

WIC is available in all fifty states, all US territories, and overseas for military families. You will find WIC at a variety of different agencies across the nation, such as community clinics and health departments. NCHS welcomes you to visit one of our locations to learn more about the program and find out if you are eligible. You can learn more about the WIC program online or by coming to the office and speaking with a health professional about the guidelines for income and nutrition. You can also call us at 888-477-6333.

What Food Benefits Do WIC Participants Receive?

Checks or vouchers are provided to purchase food at many local grocery stores. The following foods are included with WIC:

  •   Iron-fortified Infant cereal and whole-grain breakfast cereals
  •   Fruit and vegetable juice that is rich in vitamin C
  •   Eggs
  •   Milk
  •   Cheese
  •   Yogurt
  •   Peanut Butter
  •   Dried Beans, Peas or Lentils
  •   Canned goods such as beans, peas, and fish
  •   Baby Food
  •   Whole grains including whole wheat bread, tortillas, and pasta
  •   Fruits and Veggies

You will also find tofu, soy-based liquids, and a few other items on the list of foods that are approved on the WIC program. Speak with a professional to get a detailed list of products.

What else can WIC provide for me? 

Nutrition and health education: WIC teaches parents and caregivers of infants and children about nutrition, other health topics, and physical activity.

Support and help with breastfeeding:  WIC promotes breastfeeding as the first choice for infant feeding. Participants receive encouragement, education, and help with breastfeeding by certified lactation specialists.

Referrals to health care and other services: If needed, you can get referrals to medical providers for pediatric and perinatal services, as well as referrals to community services from your WIC office.

To see if you qualify for the WIC Program or to answer any questions, call 888-477-6333 today!

What Support Is Offered for Breastfeeding?

The WIC program encourages women to breastfeed and it provides the support you need to get breastfeeding off to a good start. Breastmilk is all your baby needs for the first six months of life.

You will find that when you are on WIC, breastfeeding will be easier because you will have the education and support you need. Breastfeeding experts and nutrition counselors are here to help you achieve your infant feeding goals. WIC mothers are offered support and assistance in breastfeeding their infants through one-on-one counseling with breastfeeding experts. They will also be given educational materials and important breastfeeding supplies, such as breast pumps. Participants get food packages that meet the needs of a breastfeeding mother and extends the time she qualifies to receive WIC.

WIC Benefits for Breastfeeding Moms

WIC promotes breastfeeding as the healthiest way to feed babies. We provide the following support services to help moms and babies breastfeed successfully:

  •   Prenatal breastfeeding education to understand the benefits of breastfeeding to mom and baby, and how to get a good start. Education is available in person or on-line.
  •   One-on-one feeding assessment and breastfeeding support with a Lactation Consultant or breastfeeding specialist.
  •   Hospital-grade electric breast pump loan program for mothers with babies unable to breastfeed, or for mothers who are returning to work, military service, or school.
  •   Manual breast pumps and other supplies.
  •   Additional food coupons given to breastfeeding mothers, and even more for exclusively breastfeeding mothers until baby’s first birthday.
  •   Access to a Breastfeeding Helpline 888-477-6333 (7:30am-4:30pm, Mon-Fri).

Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program

WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are moms like you that are trained lactation educators. They breastfed their own babies, so they will support and encourage you, answer your questions, and arrange for you to see a breastfeeding expert, if needed. Breastfeeding Peer Counseling services start during your pregnancy. If you are interested, ask a WIC staff member or call 888-477-6333.

Infant Feeding: Understanding Baby’s Cues

Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your baby, WIC will help you learn more about your baby’s behavior and how to understand your baby’s needs. WIC can help you learn about why babies sleep differently than adults, how your baby communicates with you, and how to calm your crying baby. You’ll also learn about sleep cues and hunger cues, as well as general care tips and important safety information for keeping your baby as healthy and safe as possible.  

Determining Nutrition Risk

All individuals who are seeking WIC assistance will undergo an assessment to determine their nutrition risk and subsequent WIC eligibility. A variety of factors go into determining the nutritional risk of an individual, as well as how their income plays a role in that area. Medical professionals who determine nutritional risk may look at all or some of the following criteria: height and weight (particularly in proportion to one another), blood work (specifically iron count), questionnaires regarding diet and nutrition, and information about mental health, and more.

Improving Nutrition

In addition to receiving food vouchers, women involved in the WIC program will receive nutrition education to ensure they are learning how best to take care of themselves and their families. Nutritional counseling may be done as part of the WIC appointments, and participants may receive resources regarding balanced diets, staying active, and how to best prepare healthy meals. The goal of the WIC program is to not only provide tangible assistance in the form of food vouchers, but also to inform program participants of the importance of making good food choices to ensure a healthy future.

San Diego WIC Locations

Here you will find each WIC office within our NCHS network. Find a WIC “near me” through any of the following locations, which are located in various cities throughout North County San Diego. We’ve done our best to make it easy for women and families of infants and children to get the health care, education, and resources they need.

NCHS has 6 WIC Locations to serve you: 

If you need additional assistance finding our closest WIC office, give us a call at 888-477-6333 and we’ll be happy to help you locate a nearby WIC North County San Diego office.

WIC Recommended Resources

On-Line WIC Classes: https://www.wichealth.org/

211 San Diego:  Info on almost all San Diego Resources: 211sandiego.org

Safety of Medications and More During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: https://mothertobaby.org/

San Diego Breastfeeding Coalition: breastfeeding.org

SD County Certified Farmer’s Market Locations: http://sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farmers-Markets.php