The food you eat every day, even before you are pregnant, is important for your health and that of your child. Once you become pregnant it is even more important to eat right since you are eating for both you and your baby. Below we have provided you with free or low cost resources to help you and your child, during and after pregnancy, with food and nutritional needs.
Eating Right During Pregnancy
Nutritional health during pregnancy is tied to several issues including pregnancy nutrition itself, overall health, weight gain and eating during
pregnancy. If you are eating a healthy diet before you become pregnant, you may only need to make a few changes to meet the nutritional needs of pregnancy. You will probably need to increase your usual
servings of a variety of foods from the four basic food groups. We have provided an entire section to help a pregnant woman with general pregnancy nutrition, weight gain, and diet information.
Below we have listed several of the federal, state and local programs that will provide you with information about, and access to, a more nutritious diet. Please also visit Eating and Nutrition During Pregnancy and Being Healthy Before and During Pregnancy and Weight Gain During Pregnancy all on the website Pregnancy And Children.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides free food, nutrition counseling, and referrals to health and other social services to participants at no charge. WIC serves low-Income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk. WIC is available in all 50 U.S. states. For the WIC program in your state click on the link State WIC offices.
Mothers participating in WIC are encouraged to breast feed their infants if possible, but State WIC agencies will provide formula to mothers who choose to use it. The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides coupons to WIC participants that they can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets.
Some additional resources about the WIC program include the following websites:
WIC Overseas, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children for those U.S. citizen living overseas
Frequently Asked Questions About the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
Who Gets WIC and How to Apply Information about the Women, Infants and Children Program
WIC Contacts: State Agencies, Nutrition Coordinators & Breastfeeding Coordinators
Other Nutrition Programs and Resources
Food Banks in every state serve hundreds of churches and other nonprofit agencies in distributing free food to those in need. We have listed few food bank websites
in your state at the link above to help you.
Food Stamps and Other Nutrition Programs provides information on the US Department of Agriculture's Food Stamp Program including eligibility, where to apply for food stamps and other federal nutrition programs such as WIC.
Government Benefit Programs is an excellent website for finding government programs to help you and your child. Simply go to the site, fill out the questionnaire and the site will list all the national government programs for which you qualify. Additionally, information on financial aid and other U.S. government benefits are listed by agency and subject matter on the U.S. Government benefit website.
Nutrition Assistance Programs include the the Child and Adult Care Food Program, as well as the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program that offer meals at schools to children. The Summer Food Service Program offers free meals and snacks to needy children during the months when school is not in session. The Emergency Food Assistance Program helps supplement the diets of low-income needy persons by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance. To find out more about each of these programs, click on each link or you can also contact your state Department of Health, Child Welfare Agency, Child Nutrition Program, or the Department of Education. Note: If these links have changed, you can find the numbers in your Blue pages of the telephone directory or by calling you local operator.
State Child Welfare/Health and Human Services Agency can help you with issues of pregnancy, financial and medical care, parenting and foster care.
World Hunger Year website provides a list of resources for food that can make your search for food assistance easier. Additionally, the Feeding America's website can help you find a food bank or food-rescue organization that serves your local community.
Remember that your local phone book is a good place to find local churches, synagogues, and food kitchens that may be able to help you with food and clothing needs.
Please also visit the link Nutrition and Diet for Pregnant Women.The website Pregnancy And Children can help any woman who wants to know more about her pregnancy, about the child she has delivered or may give birth to in the near future, about raising her child, and about her other options.
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