Percent of Women Enrolled in WIC During Pregnancy who Subsequently Breastfeed Their Children
This measure identifies the percent of women enrolled in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during their pregnancy who then provided breast milk to their infant on one or more occasions. This measure demonstrations how effective WIC’s nutrition and breastfeeding education classes, counseling, and support are for women.
This measure is calculated by identifying the number of pregnant women enrolled in WIC who subsequently breastfeed their children divided by the total number of pregnant women enrolled in WIC who delivered their babies.
FY 2015-16 Results
In FY 2015-16, 93.0% of pregnant women enrolled in WIC breastfed their children, which was 2.0% below the goal of 95%.
Assessment of Results
The WIC Program consistently surpasses the national benchmarks, with all nine-clinic teams meeting the Healthy People 2020 goal. Three out of the nine teams have met or surpassed Austin Public Health’s goal. This shows that the breastfeeding education and promotion is effective when pregnant women initially enroll in the program and during the subsequent nutrition education.
The WIC Program anticipates improving performance by continuing to review processes and procedures that have generated success and documenting them into standard operating procedures to ensure these best practices are implemented at all the clinics. Additionally, staffing levels and breastfeeding rates have been assessed across the clinics. As a result, part-time and full-time breastfeeding peer counselors are being reassigned to provide better coverage of breastfeeding support to larger clinics. The WIC Program is working on adding text messaging to pregnant and breastfeeding women to increase breastfeeding contacts, education, support, and referrals. Lactation skills training for health care professionals continue to be available resources. Breastfeeding peer counselor training is being offered for community-based workers in other organizations such as the Central Texas Food Bank. Additionally, WIC breastfeeding peer counselors have been placed in community healthcare facilities to assist in breastfeeding support and education. The WIC Program is participating in the Perinatal Coalition to enhance relationships with hospitals, obstetricians, and childbirth educators to enhance community-wide breastfeeding support, promotion, and education.
For more information, contact Annette Phinney, Interim Health and Human Services WIC Manager, at (512) 972-6859.