Trends in Breastfeeding Disparities in US Infants by WIC Eligibility and Participation
By Zhang Q, Lamichhane R, Wright M, McLaughlin P, Stacy B
Objective: To examine the trends in breastfeeding disparities across Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) eligibility and participation statuses in the last 2 decades.
Design: Secondary analyses from multiple cross-sectional surveys.
Setting: United States.
Participants: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2014 included 10,696 children younger than 60 months. Birth cohorts in 4-year increments were created from 1994 to 2014.
Main Outcome Measures: Ever-breastfed status and breastfed-at-6-months status.
Analysis: The prevalence rates of ever-breastfed and breastfed at 6 months were estimated between WIC-eligible vs non-eligible children and WIC-eligible participants vs eligible nonparticipants. Prevalence rates and their 95% confidence intervals were plotted across birth cohorts. Log-binomial regression was conducted to test the trends of breastfeeding in each subgroup.
Results: Ever-breastfeeding rates increased from 52% (WIC participants) vs 57% (WIC-eligible nonparticipants) in the 1994–1997 birth cohort to 71% vs 77% in the 2010–2014 birth cohort—a 36% vs 34% relative increase for participants vs eligible nonparticipants, respectively (P < .001). Breastfeeding-at-6-month rates increased from 28% (participants) vs 30% (eligible nonparticipants) to 34% vs 49% in the same time period—a 21% vs 66% relative increase, respectively (P < .001).
Conclusion and Implications: To meet the Healthy People 2020’s goal for breastfeeding at 6 months, sustainable postpartum breastfeeding education and interventions may be needed among WIC participants. Future research focusing on identification of the causal relationship between WIC participation and breastfeeding outcomes is warranted.
February 11, 2019
Zhang Q, Lamichhane R, Wright M, McLaughlin P, Stacy B (2019) Trends in Breastfeeding Disparities in US Infants by WIC Eligibility and Participation. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior: Vol. 51, Issue 2, pp 182-189. Available online: https://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(18)30849-2/fulltext