Association of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children With Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality
By Soneji S, Sánchez H
In December 2019, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a national-based cohort study from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The goal of the study was to explore the association between WIC participation, pre-term birth and infant mortality. By analyzing 11,148,261 birth certificate records between 2011 and 2017, the authors were able to conclude that pregnant women who receive WIC benefits, while also enrolled in Medicaid, decrease the likelihood of pre-term birth or mortality in the first year of life.
The authors attribute the WIC food package and breastfeeding promotion and support, as influential factors on the positive birth outcomes associated with WIC participation. Specifically, the supplemental foods available through the WIC food package support low-income women to increase protein, vitamin D and iron intake. These nutrients are crucial for supporting healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes. Secondly, breastfeeding is associated with reducing post-neonatal deaths. Breastfeeding promotion and support is a core service provided to WIC participants and therefore attributed by association to the reduced likelihood of infant mortality described in this study.
March 13, 2020
Soneji S, Sánchez H (2019). Association of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children With Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality. JAMA Network Open, Vol. 2, Issue 12. Available online: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/article-abstract/2756257