Objectives. We assessed the effect of the new Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package, implemented in October 2009, on breastfeeding outcomes among a predominately Latina sample of WIC participants in Los Angeles County, California. Methods. We used data from 5020 WIC participants who were interviewed in a series of repeated cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2005, 2008, and 2011. Participants were randomly selected from Los Angeles County residents who received WIC services during those years. Results. Consistent with the WIC population in Los Angeles, participants were mostly Latina and had low levels of income and education; more than half were foreign-born. We found small but significant increases from pre- to postimplementation of the new WIC food package in prevalence of prenatal intention to breastfeed and breastfeeding initiation, but no changes in any breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months. The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months roughly doubled, an increase that remained large and significant after adjustment for other factors. Conclusions. The new food package can improve breastfeeding outcomes in a population at high risk for negative breastfeeding outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health