When To Refer to A Healthcare Provider
WIC serves as an adjunct to good health care during critical times of growth and development to prevent the occurrence of health problems and to improve participants' health status. Providing referrals to health care and other services that are outside of WIC's scope helps fulfill this adjunctive role.
The following chart provides examples of when it's important to refer to a healthcare provider. This chart is not exhaustive. Note: Medical problems and management are outside of WIC's scope.
|If mom is experiencing:||If baby is experiencing:|
|A painful “spot” on her nipple or red area(s) on the breast. Or nipple trauma such as cracks, scabs, open wounds, pus, or oozing that may indicate the presence of a breast infection||Below birth weight by 2 weeks of age|
|Shiny white dot on tip of nipple (bleb) that continues to cause pain||Concerns about weight loss|
|Unusual presentations such as unusual dimpling of the skin or ridges; rashes, itching, and other skin conditions; and distinct lumps||Certain skin colorings such as yellowish tinge; bluish color; mom’s concerns of baby’s rashes or other skin conditions|
|Concerns of mastitis or a breast abscess||A suspected tongue or lip tie; as well as an unusually large or underdeveloped tongue.|
|Deep, shooting or stabbing breast pain.||Disinterest in feedings; overly sleepy and not waking to feed (which parents might interpret as a “good” baby); lethargy; apathetic or weak cry; avoiding interacting with the parents|
Fever or flu-like symptoms.
Continued pain or discomfort despite previous tips/suggestions.
Concerns about medications or herbal supplements.
Concerns regarding the management and/or appropriate treatment options for identified medical conditions (e.g., polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or undiagnosed or untreated thyroid disorders, GERD, jaundiced, etc.).
Breastfeeding Reassurance Tips
About the Reassurance Tips
Components of a Care Plan
About the Tailoring Calculator
Age-Specific Desired Behaviors
WIC Infant Nutrition and Feeding Guide
WIC Infant Foods Calculator
Infant Developmental Skills/Hunger & Satiety Cues
Infant Feeding: Tips for Food Safety