All moms need to know that no breast pump can remove as much milk as a strong, healthy baby who is breastfeeding well.  However, a breastfeeding mom may choose to use a breast pump in order to continue providing breastmilk when returning to school or work or for occasionally being away from her baby.  And sometimes a mom needs to pump her milk to feed her premature or sick infant who cannot yet breastfeed well.  The Wake County WIC Program offers guidance on breast milk expression and provides a breast pump service for eligible WIC participants.
There are 3 different types of pumps available to meet the needs of WIC breastfeeding moms and babies. 
  • Manual breast pump - Intended for occasional use, this is a pump that the mother keeps for herself.
  • Single user breast pumps - Intended for exclusively breastfeeding moms and babies, this is an electric breast pump that the mother keeps for herself. To be eligible for a personal breast pump, a mother must:
    • have been exclusively breastfeeding for at least 4 weeks, and
    • wants to continue exclusive breastfeeding, and
    • will be separated from her baby more than 4 hours at a time, or has multiple infants, or has an infant with a qualifying medical condition.
  • Multi user loan breast pumps - Intended for frequent use to establish and protect a mother’s milk supply, this is a hospital grade electric pump loaned to eligible WIC participants for a specified time intervals and must be returned to the WIC Program within the time frame described in the loan contract. Typically these pumps are loaned when babies are not breastfeeding well because of prematurity or illness, or when mothers have breast engorgement or other medical conditions.

Thinking about pumping?

If you are thinking about pumping because you are worried about your milk supply or because breastfeeding is not going well, you may not need a pump – your baby may just need a little help.  Call our WIC Breastfeeding Warmline at 919-250-4720 and select option 6 and a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor will return your call to help you make a decision or arrange for one-on-one support.
All requests for breast pumps must be assessed by a qualified WIC staff person to determine a mom’s eligibility and need.  All breastfeeding women who receive a pump must be present in order to receive education on the use of the pump, on the safe handling of expressed breastmilk and to sign a pump issuance contract and liability waiver. In addition, breastfeeding moms are taught how to remove milk by hand, also known as hand expression.