Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutritional Services is a federal program that provides health care and proper nutrition to low income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women during a crucial time for both mothers and babies. The mission of WIC is to “safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.” (Food and Nutrition Service, 2010).
Services are provided through various health clinics, hospitals, schools, community centers, and public housing centers. In the United …show more content…
WIC has been found to be successful in improving the health of pregnant women, postpartum women, and their infants. Statistically, those who had participated in the program were found to have had lower health care costs for themselves and their infants compared to women who did not participate in the program (K. Kachur, personal communication, October 2, 2010). Women involved in the WIC program have longer gestational periods, higher birth weights and reduced infant mortality rates when compared to those who did not participate in the program. (New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, 2010). Benefits of the WIC program include better prenatal care, reduction in premature births, savings in health care costs, proper nutrition, decreased incidence of anemia, and reduction in disease related to poor nutrition and lack of prenatal care. (K. Kachur, personal communication, October 2, 2010). Through the program, more information is available to mothers related to breastfeeding and the use of formulas. According to Shepherd, breast-feeding has been described as the superior infant feeding method from birth, with research consistently demonstrating numerous short- and long-term health benefits for both the mother and infant . (2008) The program also provides regular required immunizations (Food and Nutrition Service, 2010). WIC is known as a multi-faceted, widespread, effective, and