New Research: Caretakers Learn “Responsive Bottle-Feeding” Skills at WIC to Prevent Overfeeding Infants

new study by Heluna Health’s PHFE WIC research and evaluation team and colleagues at the Center for Health Research, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo published in Pediatric Obesity found that promotion of responsive bottle-feeding is an effective way to support WIC parents and reduce the risk of overfeeding and excess weight gain.

Many parents think that crying is always a sign of hunger, and are quick to use feeding to soothing a fussy baby. For this reason, fussier babies tend to be at a higher risk for over-feeding. Parents enrolled in the WIC program receive education that helps prevent this. During pregnancy, WIC participants learn about baby behavior, sleeping patterns, hunger and fullness cues, non-hunger cues, and soothing techniques so they can recognize the difference between signs of over-stimulation, tiredness, and hunger once their baby is born. WIC also teaches parents to feed their babies when they show the earliest signs of hunger, and be responsive to signs of satiation or fullness. This empowers parents to be responsive to their baby’s needs and reduces the risk of over-feeding.

Access the research article via Wiley Online Library here: Strategies to promote responsive bottle-feeding in WIC predict less frequent use of food to soothe and healthier weight status for infants with negative temperaments.

Learn more about WIC services, and access WIC’s educational resources for feeding infants and children.

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week

August 15-21 we celebrate the inaugural Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islander breastfeeding week.

This year’s theme is “Reclaiming Our Traditions“. PHFE WIC is committed to supporting the community in reclaiming the tradition of breastfeeding by providing professional individualized breastfeeding support in our WIC participants’ native languages.

PHFE WIC Staff are reclaiming their cultures’ traditions and proudly say, “I breastfeed!”

Congratulations to CHEER Champion Wendy Fung

In celebration of the inaugural Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Breastfeeding Week, the Center for Health Equity, Education, & Research (CHEER) nominated PHFE WIC’s Wen Ting (Wendy) Fung, MS, RD, and soon-to-be IBCLC as a CHEER Champion.

Wendy is the Breastfeeding Services Supervisor at PHFE WIC in Los Angeles County and Co-founder of Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Breastfeeding Task Force. In these roles, she helps moms to overcome breastfeeding challenges and strives to establish connections with other organizations to improve breastfeeding support, encourage moms to persevere with their breastfeeding goals, and promote exclusive breastfeeding.

“Often in the AAPI community, we have high initiation rates because breastfeeding is a tradition in our community. However, because of other influences, the duration of breastfeeding is quite short. It is important for moms to have breastfeeding support from their own community, people who look like them and speak their language.”
– Wendy Fung, MS, RDN, soon-to-be IBCLC

Our Racial & Health Equity Progress Report

As public health professionals serving a diverse population of pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, new parents, and their families, we at WIC acknowledge that racism is a public health crisis that directly affects our work and the families we serve. Systemic racism affects many communities, especially Black mothers and infants, whose chances of surviving pregnancy and birth are disproportionately lower than their white counterparts. This has invigorated our commitment to dismantling systemic racism and fostering an anti-racist and socially just environment.

Actions We Are Taking

For our participants:

WIC Cinnamoms
  • CinnaMoms was created in 2015 as a special space to promote and support breastfeeding while celebrating the traditions and culture of the Black families at PHFE WIC. CinnaMoms hosts monthly virtual support circles to facilitate culturally relevant and meaningful connections and discussions about maternal and postpartum health, support systems, and beliefs.
  • Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) was August 25-31st. The 2020 celebration took place virtually with the theme of “Revive, Restore, and Reclaim.”

For our staff:

PHFE WIC Staff- We are Juneteenth!
  • In July 2020, the Council on Racial and Equity (CORE) was assembled at PHFE WIC to evaluate and inform next steps for racial justice within our organization.
    • This team informed a list of short, medium, and long-term goals for educational trainings, professional development, and exploring inclusivity in all avenues of the agency.
    • CORE collaborated with other WIC agencies across Southern California during Black Breastfeeding Week to address breastfeeding barriers that Black families face.
  • PHFE WIC has ensured interview panelists were racially diverse while hiring.
  • Our parent company, Heluna Health has formed a cross-agency Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup to address systemic racism.
  • In June 2021, staff celebrated and commemorated Juneteenth with a special educational presentation created by members of CORE.
  • In May 2021, the CORE team at PHFE WIC unveiled the new Health and Racial Equity page on the company’s intranet to be a resource available to employees.
PHFE WIC’s Heath and Racial Equity Intranet Resource
  • On May 25, 2021, PHFE WIC staff gathered virtually for the Inaugural Day of Remembrance to remember the names of Black people killed by police, and reflect on how we plan to move forward in our anti-racist journeys individually and as an organization.
  • PHFE WIC staff attended California WIC Association’s Annual conference May 3-7, 2021. The theme was “Strengthening and Supporting California’s Families”. Staff heard Arthur James, MD, FACOG speak on Equity in the Opportunity to Survive the 1st Day of Life…a dream deferred.
  • Following the Global Cultural calendar developed by Heluna Health’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup, PHFE WIC staff created and shared presentations to educate and celebrate Chinese New Year, Black HIstory Month, Arab American Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Cesar Chavez Day, Harriet Tubman Day, Juneteenth, and Greek and Irish Heritage Month.
  • In November 2020, all PHFE WIC staff attended a virtual implicit bias workshop with Dr. Bryant Marks. As part of the workshop, staff took an implicit association test to become aware of their own biases. The workshop gave actionable ways to work toward racial equity.
Sarah Fanta interviewing Austin Channing Brown, author of I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made of Whiteness at virtual CWA conference in August 2020
  • In August 2020, staff attended the virtual California WIC Association conference where Sarah Fanta, Supervising Nutritionist and member of the C.O.R.E Advisory Committee, interviewed Austin Channing Brown.
    • Austin Channing Brown is a speaker, writer, and media producer, who provided inspirational leadership on racial justice in America and is the author of I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made of Whiteness.
  • In July 2020, PHFE WIC held an all-staff meeting with the topic of cultural sensitivity, racism, and recognizing and preventing micro-aggressions lead by PHFE WIC Senior Health Equity Manager Dr. Toncé Jackson
    • All staff watched four video conversations on race and completed a thought-provoking worksheet to help process information and enhance learning.
    • The group explored micro-aggressions and micro-affirmations through dialogue, videos, and examples.
  • In June 2020, Dr. Melissa Franklin of First 5 LA and Ms. Wenonah Valentine held a support group/healing space for Black staff as an opportunity to process, reflect, mobilize, and recommend next steps for the agency.
  • Juneteeth education for all staff
    • In June 2020, Staff independently viewed a PowerPoint presentation that included facts about Juneteeth, Black historical and current information, and links to the National African American Museum (NAAM) website.

This is only the beginning. Please check back periodically to learn about our most recent efforts to build equity and justice in our organization and community.

Happy Mother’s Day

Moms hold a very special place in our hearts at WIC. They are on our staff, our participants, our leaders, and our partners in the community. Moms are a source of so much love, support, insight, strength, and inspiration for the WIC family.

We wish you the happiest Mother’s Day! WIC celebrates the nurturers and caregivers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and guardians of our children.

Partnership for a Healthier America: Register for free!

PHA10 Summit Details

PHA10: Accelerating a Healthier Future 2020 Virtual Summit

Tuesday April 28, 2020; 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Pacific time

Register for free online now at

About PHA10

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis.
In an online summit on April 28, PHA will celebrate a decade of impact while also launching the next wave of innovation from PHA and its partners.

We are proud to announce that PHFE WIC’s Director of Research and Evaluation Shannon Whaley will be among the disruptors and innovators at PHA10 holding critical conversations about transforming our broken food culture and driving a healthier future for all families.

Join the conversation! See more information about the PHA Summit and register now at

Financial Resources for Residents Impacted by COVID-19

CA has waived the 1-week waiting period for those unemployed or disabled as a result of #COVID19.  If:

  • a medical professional says you are unable to work,
  • your hours have been reduced OR
  • your employer has shut down

You can file a claim:

The Department of Public Social Services is aware of the financial impact that the Coronavirus is having on the health and financial well-being of County of Los Angeles residents, leaving thousands unemployed or underemployed.  The department has provided the below resources to help residents who may be experiencing financial challenges due to the pandemic:


If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file for unemployment insurance. If you are expecting to return to your job after the dust settles, you do not have to be actively seeking new work during the outbreak. But you must be “able and available to work” to get these benefits, which generally range from $40-$450 per week for up to six months.

Click here to file an unemployment claim.


Individuals who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim.

Disability Insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 – $1,300 a week.

Click here- How to File a Disability Claim


Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.

Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.h

Click here- How to File a Paid Family Leave Claim in SDI Online

Please follow DPSS on Facebook @LACoDPSS, Twitter @LACo_DPSS and Instagram @laco_dpss for more information and updates. 

Census 2020 – Everyone Counts!

It’s time for the 2020 Census! Between March 12 and March 20, homes across the country will receive an invitation to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail.

Census results impact planning and funding for your local hospitals, highways, schools and other social programs (like Head Start, school breakfast and lunch, and WIC!). Spread the word to your friends and family that EVERYONE COUNTS for the 2020 Census.

There are 3 ways to complete the census

  1. Online at
  2. By phone – Call 844-330-2020
  3. By Mail – Paper census forms will arrive between March 12 and April 1, 2020.

Get help completing the Census at WIC!

The 5 PHFE WIC centers listed below are offering in-person support to help WIC families complete the 2020 Census Online in March and April 2020. Bring your census form or census ID to one of these WIC centers for assistance completing the 2020 Census:

Bellflower WIC
17610 Bellflower Blvd., Suite A103-A105
Bellflower, CA  90706

Chino WIC
4774 Riverside Dr., Suite B
Chino, CA  91710

Norwalk WIC
13926 S. San Antonio Dr. Suite #102
Norwalk, CA  90650S

San Pedro WIC
312 N. Gaffey St Unit # 101-103
San Pedro, CA  90731

Wilmington WIC
125 E. Anaheim St. Unit C,D,E
Wilmington, CA 90744

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit

Remember the 6 P’s of Evacuation

Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate Northern Los Angeles County due to the Saddleridge Fire, one of several California wildfires that erupted Thursday October 10 and continued through Friday.

If you’ve been affected, evacuated or relocated due to the recent California wildfires, please contact WIC at 1-888-942-2229. We can help issue your monthly WIC benefits and connect you with more resources.

When evacuating, be sure to remember the 6 P’s!

People and pets

Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses

“Plastic” like credit cards, ATM cards.

Papers, phone numbers, and important documents

Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia

Personal computers, hard drives, and flash drives

Use your Farmers’ Market checks today!

The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program has wrapped up for the Summer of 2019! This year’s successful farmers’ market issued a total $570,000 worth of fruits and vegetables into the homes of WIC recipients. If you received the $20 farmers’ market vouchers, don’t forget to SPEND THEM at the farmers’ market before November 30, 2019. Go to any of the farmers’ markets listed below, or search your zip code here to find other farmers’ markets near you. Markets with a red apple accept WIC fruit and vegetable checks.

Farmers' Market
Day and Time
Rosemead8838 E Valley Blvd, Rosemead, 91770Monday 5pm - 9pmOpen now until October
Wilmington470 Hawaiian Ave, Wilmington, 90744Tuesday 9am - 3pmYear Round
Tustin245 El Camino Real, Tustin, 92780Wednesday 9am - 1pmYear Round
Adams & VermontSt. Agnes Church, 1432 W Adams Blvd, LA, 90007 Wednesday 2pm - 6pmYear Round
Downtown Anaheim205 W Center St Promenade @ Lemon St, Anaheim, 92805Thursday 11am - 3pmYear Round
La Cienega1835 S La Cienega Blvd @ Plaza La Cienega, LA, 90035Thursday 2pm - 7pmYear Round
Monterey Park1950 Wilcox Ave @ George Elder Park, Monterey Park, 91755Thursday 4pm - 9pmYear Round
Echo Park1146 Logan St @ Sunset Blvd, LA, 90026Friday 3pm - 7:30pmYear Round
Cerritos17870 Park Plaza Dr @ Towne Center Dr, Cerritos, 90703Saturday 8am - 12noonYear Round
Gardena13000 S Van Ness Ave @ Hollypark Church, Gardena, 90249Saturday 8am - 1pmYear Round
East Los Angeles4801 E 3rd St across from Belvedere Park, LA, 90022Saturday 9am - 2pmYear Round
Pomona ValleyPearl St & Garey Ave, Pomona, 91767Saturday 7:30am - 11:30amYear Round
West Covina195 S Glendora Ave, West Covina, 91790Saturday 9am - 1pmYear Round

Market days/hours are subject to change without notice.

Here are some things to remember when shopping with your WIC FM checks.

What you CAN buy with your FM checks:
Cut edible herbs

(Organic is allowed)

What you CANNOT buy with your FM checks:
Baked Goods
Dried Fruits
Meat / Fish

Apply for CalFresh at WIC

Save your cash for household expenses and use WIC and CalFresh for groceries by adding food dollars to your budget!

To apply for CalFresh at WIC:

Click here to see where CalFresh enrollment services are available near you.

To apply for CalFresh online visit:

LA County –

Orange County –

What to bring to apply for CalFresh:

  • Medi-Cal cards or social security numbers (for all applicants in the family)


  • Proof of your family’s income and monthly expenses (like rent, utilities, child care, etc.)

Dealing with Emotions During Pregnancy

How you feel is just as important to your health as what you eat. While pregnancy is often the happiest time of many women’s lives, others find themselves feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or sad. All of these feelings are normal. It is also normal to feel no sadness or depression with one pregnancy, and then feel it with the next pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different.

Here are some tips to feel better and manage your emotions during pregnancy.

Feeling Fatigued?

Changing to a different sleeping position can help us fall and stay asleep. As we lose sleep, many of us feel sadder, grouchy and are generally not ourselves.

Surprisingly, getting up and moving can help give us more energy. If you are not on bedrest and your doctor says it is okay to exercise, gentle exercise such as walking or yoga can help. With any exercise, please listen to your body and do what is comfortable.

Hydration and proper nutrition are also key. Dehydration can masquerade as hunger and sleepiness. Try adding drinking water throughout the day. Healthy foods with fiber, vitamins and minerals give us energy throughout the day. Sugary foods give us quick energy that will leave us wanting a nap.

Is it Baby Blues?

Sadness, also called the “baby blues”, can occur both during and after pregnancy. This can be a strange feeling if you have never experienced sadness or depression before and can be an unwelcomed guest if you have.

Journaling and keeping track of how you feel can help you see your changing emotions. If you note that you are feeling down, depressed, or hopeless 3 days per week, it is time to speak to your doctor.

Do not be afraid to tell your doctor about how you are feeling. Talking to family and friends can be helpful, and it’s great to have a strong support system, but talking with an expert can give you some reliable tools to help. Some women find counseling helpful during their pregnancy because they can speak with an expert who is familiar with prenatal and postpartum depression.

Practicing Self-Care

Self-care is any activity that you do deliberately to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional health. This can be journaling, cooking a healthy meal, gentle exercise, coloring, singing, or spending time with a pet. Self-care doesn’t have to cost anything at all!

6 Things you Should Know About Perinatal Depression:

  1. Perinatal depression is common.
  2. You may experience sadness, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, nervousness, anxiety and more.
  3. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and up to the child’s first year of age.
  4. You did nothing to cause this.
  5. The sooner you get treatment, the better.
  6. There is help for you.

Talk to your doctor and WIC about how you are feeling, or contact Postpartum Support International @ 1-800-944-4773 or

Emotions During Pregnancy is the prenatal health topic of the month at PHFE WIC. For more education topics, visit