WIC For A Stronger, Healthier America
By National WIC Association
THE CRITICAL NEED FOR WIC
Across the United States, in urban and rural areas, WIC’s time-limited services and benefits ensure that children get a strong, healthy start in life. There is clear evidence that good nutrition during pregnancy and in the first few years of life has long-term, positive impacts on health. When children have a healthy start, their prospects, and America’s prospects, are brighter. With historically strong bipartisan support and clear evidence demonstrating how WIC is both efficient and effective at improving the health of low-income children, WIC ensures the future health and safety of millions of Americans. Through quality nutrition, breastfeeding and referral services, WIC addresses critical public health concerns threatening America. Maternal mortality in the United States—26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015—is rising as it declines in comparable countries. This rate is significantly higher for low-income women. Although the infant mortality rate has been decreasing over recent years, the US still lags behind most developed countries. WIC, which serves 1.8 million low-income pregnant and postpartum women and 1.8 million infants, plays a role in helping mothers recognize key risk factors associated with infant and maternal mortality. Breastfeeding support and promotion are core WIC services. A 2017 research paper estimates that for every 597 women who optimally breastfeed, one maternal or child death is prevented. WIC helps moms meet their breastfeeding goals by working with them to overcome breastfeeding barriers. This is reflected in the steady rise in breastfeeding initiation rates in WIC since the 1990s.
March 5, 2019
National WIC Association (2018) WIC For A Stronger, Healthier America. Available online: https://s3.amazonaws.com/aws.upl/nwica.org/2019-wic-for-a-stronger-america.pdf