Health Care Providers

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Make it routine! Put a WIC Brochure in every new patient packet.
  • Mention WIC to everyone. Tell your patients that WIC is a health and nutrition program and encourage them to call a local WIC Program.
  • Display WIC posters and brochures in your office in the languages your patients speak. Please contact the ITCA WIC Program to receive free posters and brochures at:

Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
2214 North Central Avenue Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Phone: 602.258.4822
Fax: 602.258.4825

The ITCA WIC Program recognizes breastfeeding as the standard for infant feeding and promotes full breastfeeding for the first 6 months and breastfeeding with complementary foods for a year or more.  With your partnership we can increase breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity.

Below are links to breastfeeding resources to support your practice:

Health Professional Organizations that Promote and Support Breastfeeding:

Healthcare providers play a critical role in a mother’s ability to initiate and continue breastfeeding.  Health Professionals can successfully promote breastfeeding by following the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as provided from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) website.

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in – allow mother and infant to remain together – 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has created the Arizona Baby Steps to Breastfeeding Success Program.  It is a program designed to assist Arizona hospitals to become more Baby Friendly.  The five hospital practices are as follows:

  1. Initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.
  2. Avoid giving infants fluids or solids other than breast milk unless medically necessary.
  3. Promote 24-hour rooming-in, encouraging the family to recognize and respond to infant’s cues.
  4. Do not use a pacifier or artificial nipple with infants during the hospital stay.
  5. Give mothers a telephone number to call for help with breastfeeding.

Please click here for more information on the Arizona Baby Steps to Breastfeeding Success Program.

WIC provides more formula for a younger baby who is consuming only formula and less formula to an older baby who is consuming formula and baby foods, such as infant cereal, baby food meats and baby food fruit and vegetables. The formula amounts will be:

Age#Cans Powder Formula
0-3 months9
4-5 months10
6 months7

To support our breastfeeding mothers and infants, formula is not provided to breastfeeding infants during the first month of life.  After the first month, partially breastfeeding infants will be issued formula based on an individualized assessment.

ITCA WIC entered into an agreement with Abbott Laboratories (Ross Products Division) to provide Similac® Advance®, Similac Sensitive® and Similac® Total Comfort™ as the sole source milk-based formulas and with Nestlé Nutrition U.S. to provided Gerber® Good Start® Soy as the sole source soy-based formula for WIC participants. The agreement is a federally mandated cost containment system. It provides a savings to the WIC Program. This savings allows the WIC Program to serve additional caseload with the WIC grant. No other standard milk-based or soy-based infant formulas are provided.

A WIC client who is prescribed any formula other than Similac® Advance® or Gerber® Good Start® Soy must have a completed Special Formula Authorization Form. As of April 1, 2014 Similac Sensitive® and Similac® Total Comfort™ also require a completed authorization form due to the change to 19 kcals per ounce.  A qualifying condition for all non-standard formulas must be documented for a special formula to be authorized and issued by WIC.

For infants six to eleven months receiving formula, additional formula may be issued in lieu of infant foods if medically appropriate. The formula would be provided at the same maximum monthly formula allowance issued to four and five month old infants, based on breastfeeding status, with authorization from the health care provider on the Special Formula Authorization Form. Women and children may receive supplemental foods in addition to the formula or medical food (special formula) with authorization by the health care provider using this form. The supplemental foods issued will be based on category, age, breastfeeding status and number of fetuses/infants. Whole milk may be issued to children 24 months and older and women who are receiving a special formula with medical documentation.

  • Clients who have AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System- Arizona’s Medicaid) coverage may be eligible to receive special formula through their AHCCCS provider. For AHCCCS participants, AHCCCS must be the first payer of special formula.
    A client must meet at least two (2) of the following criteria from the AHCCCS EPSDT Policy 430 Requirements to determine a formula to be a medical necessity:
  1. At or below the 10th percentile for age and gender for three months or more.
  2. Reached a plateau in growth or nutritional status for more than six months.
  3. Demonstrated a medically significant decline in weight for three months or more.
  4. Consumes/eats no more than 25% of his or her nutritional requirements from age-appropriate foods.
  5. Absorption problems as evidenced by emesis, diarrhea, dehydration, and/or weight loss and intolerance to milk or formula products have been ruled out.
  6. Nutritional supplements needed on a temporary basis due to an emergent condition.

The ITCA WIC Program does not allow cow’s milk before the age of one. The Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the consumption of breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula, along with age-appropriate solid foods and juices, during the first twelve months of life. The AAP recommends that whole cow’s milk and low-iron formulas not be used during the first year of life (AAP, The Use of Whole Cow’s Milk in Infancy, Pediatrics, 1992, 89:1105-1109).

As of October 1, 2014, a form completed by the health care provider is no longer needed.  Soy based beverages and tofu continue to only be provided to those children who cannot consume milk and not for personal preference.

In addition to nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals, WIC provides families with checks for nutritious foods. Click here to view a copy of our current food list.

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