WIC Research, Policy and Practice Hub WIC Research, Policy and Practice Hub


Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome

This position paper looked at women of childbearing ages and the importance of maintaining good nutritional status, through a lifestyle to optimize maternal health and reduce the risk of (1) birth defects, (2) suboptimal fetal growth and development, and (3) chronic health problems in their children. Most pregnant women need 2,200 to 2,900 kcal a day. However, body mass index before pregnancy, rate of weight gain, maternal age, and appetite must be taken into consideration for each individual.

The Relationship Between the Neighbourhood Environment and Adverse Birth Outcomes

The aim of this study was to explore whether conditions of mothers; neighbourhood of residence contributed to adverse birth outcomes, independent of individual-level determinants. Results suggested that measures of neighbourhood economic conditions were associated with both fetal growth and the length of gestation, independent of individual-level factors.

Smoking Status and Stages of Change for Dietary Behaviors Among WIC Women

This study examines whether dietary attitudes and demographics differed, based on the smoking status among low-income women participating in a dietary intervention. Results indicated that relative to nonsmokers, current smokers reported significantly higher overall calories; higher percentages of calories from fat, sweets, and alcohol; and a lower percentage of calories from protein. Those who had never smoked and who received the dietary intervention evidenced the greatest dietary changes over time.

Increasing the Report of Alcohol Use Among Low-Income Pregnant Women

This study evaluated an intervention aimed at increasing the report of prenatal alcohol use in a community setting. The rates of reported prenatal alcohol consumption at the 12 WIC intervention sites were compared with rates at 12 WIC control sites, using a repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent-samples t-tests. Within 8 months of study commencement, rates of reported prenatal alcohol consumption were significantly higher at the intervention sites than at the control sites.

Brief Intervention for Alcohol Use by Pregnant Women

The authors examines the efficacy of a brief intervention (10- to 15-minute counseling sessions) as a technique to help pregnant women achieve abstinence from alcohol. The second aim was to assess newborn outcomes as a function of the brief intervention. Women in the brief intervention condition were 5 times more likely to report abstinence after the intervention, compared with women in the assessment-only condition. Newborns whose mothers received the brief intervention had higher birth weights and birth lengths. In addition, their fetal mortality rates were 3 times lower (0.9%), compared with newborns in the assessment-only condition (2.9%).

Healthcare Provider Advice and Risk Factors Associated With Alcohol Consumption Following Pregnancy Recognition

This study examines the extent to which pregnant women participating in the WIC Program were counseled by their healthcare providers to stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy. A second purpose was to identify characteristics associated with alcohol consumption post recognition of pregnancy. The results showed that women who were most likely to receive advice were black non-Hispanic and Hispanic, were Spanish speaking, were less educated, were on public assistance, and had a higher number of alcohol-related risk behaviors.

Alcohol Consumption Among Low-Income Pregnant Latinas

The researchers assessed the prevalence of alcohol consumption in a sample of low-income pregnant Latinas and examines risk factors for alcohol use in the periconceptional period. According to their findings, level of knowledge about fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and awareness of warning messages was not protective for early pregnancy alcohol consumption, suggesting that specific knowledge was insufficient to prevent exposure or that other factors reinforced maintenance of alcohol consumption in early pregnancy. Selective interventions in low-income Latinas are warranted and should focus on women of reproductive age who are binge drinkers or frequent drinkers and who are at risk of becoming pregnant.

Alcohol Use in Pregnant Low-Income Women

The present study had two aims: (1) to examine the prevalence rates of prenatal alcohol consumption in a group of women participating in WIC in Southern California, with special emphasis on Hispanic women, and (2) to identify variables associated with postconception drinking in low-income minority women. Results suggested that it was important to screen low-income minority pregnant women in a community setting, to initiate interventions to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome and related conditions.