The Effects of Breastfeeding Support on Women Enrolled for WIC Benefits
By Khanuja J
Breastfeeding has been shown to protect both the mother and infant, and health care professionals consider it to be the best choice for feeding an infant. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides food, referrals to other social service programs, and nutrition and breastfeeding education for enrolled families. However, community support for the breastfeeding woman once she leaves the hospital is limited, especially in Philadelphia, PA. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the impact of prenatal breastfeeding education and understand the role that members of the community play in the infant feeding decision making process. A purposive, convenience sample of 36 postpartum breastfeeding women enrolled for WIC benefits completed a survey and an in-depth interview about infant feeding choices and their support system at their return WIC appointment. The quantitative survey data were analyzed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and multiple regressions while the qualitative data were analyzed using Moustakas’ modification of two methods, referred to as MVKMAP. The analysis of data showed that the postpartum breastfeeding education given at the WIC office had the most influence on participants’ decision to breastfeed followed by prenatal education. Some participants reported receiving overwhelming breastfeeding support from the WIC peer counselor, which indicates that members of the WIC community play a role in the infant feeding decision making process. The study findings help to contribute to social change by identifying the need for breastfeeding support by medical providers, hospitals, and WIC offices at the prenatal period not only at the postpartum appointment.
September 5, 2019
Khanuja J (2019). The Effects of Breastfeeding Support on Women Enrolled for WIC Benefits. Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies Collection. Available online: https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=8438&context=dissertations