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Women, infants and children (WIC) breastfeeding initiative: a proposed program evaluation

Rapport, Sarah (2014) Women, infants and children (WIC) breastfeeding initiative: a proposed program evaluation. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Breastfeeding is an essential strategy for providing babies with first-rate nutrition, neurological developmental advantages, and improved bonding with mother. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that infant nutrition and breastfeeding should be considered a public health issue and not simply a lifestyle choice. Breastfeeding is significant for public health because it contributes to positive health outcomes for child and mother, decreases on impact the environment and helps to reduce health care costs.
One population that would strongly benefit from the advantages of breastfeeding are women who utilize the services of WIC (Women, Infants and Children). WIC provides economically and nutritionally disadvantaged mothers with supplemental food packages and nutritional education and counseling, as well as medical referrals and screenings. However, breastfeeding rates among those who participate in WIC are, on average, lower than rates of those who do not.
One reason for this is that the demographics of those least likely to breastfeed are the same demographics of most WIC participants. According to Healthy People 2020, those with the lowest breastfeeding rates are African-Americans, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders¬. Those three races/ethnicities make up over 35% of WIC’s participants, which translates into over 3,407,000 participants.
WIC has been working to address this issue with programs specifically aimed at breastfeeding promotion, but they have yet to be effective. This paper examines why this is, and proposes a national program evaluation of WIC’s breastfeeding initiatives. The evaluation is designed to find out how WIC can better reach its target population and address the barriers that are keeping it from being able to do so.
This evaluation will assess the various tools WIC is currently using in its program so that WIC is able to identify which ones are and are not working. There will also be a significant amount of participant feedback, so that WIC is able to understand why certain tools are effective while others are not and to identify barriers. Ideally, the evaluation will also indicate how to improve on those tools that are not effective and thereby improve breastfeeding rates among WIC participants.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rapport, Sarahsfr102@pitt.eduSFR102
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduEMFELTER
Committee MemberHaggerty, Catherinehaggerty@pitt.eduHAGGERTY
Date: 27 June 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2014
Approval Date: 27 June 2014
Submission Date: 28 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 75
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: breastfeeding; WIC
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2014 22:32
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:19


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