Promotion of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Low-Income Families by Improving the WIC Food Package for Breastfeeding Mothers
By Shafai T, Mustafa M, Hild T
There had been a gradual decline in breastfeeding rates in the United States starting in the early 1900s, and we witnessed the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the 1960s and 1970s. Simultaneously there were reports of pregnant mothers and children who were at risk of malnutrition. A White House Conference that was held on food, nutrition, and health in 1969 reported that nutritional deficiencies among low-income women and children threatened their health and led to higher medical costs. This prompted the U.S. Congress to enact legislations to address malnutrition in low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, as well as their infants and children. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was enacted in 1972 and was initially limited to breastfeeding mothers and their children. In 1974 the eligibility was extended to formula-feeding infants and their mothers. The breastfeeding rates in the United States have gradually increased in the past 20 years; however, they continue to lag behind in low-income families. In this communication we provide the rationale for a strategy to promote exclusive breastfeeding in low-income families by improving the WIC food package for breastfeeding mothers.
November 15, 2017
Shafai T, Mustafa M, Hild T (2014) 'Promotion of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Low-Income Families by Improving the WIC Food Package for Breastfeeding Mothers'. Breastfeeding Medicine: Vol. 9, Issue 8, pp. 375-376. Available online: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bfm.2014.0062