Evaluation of a comprehensive loving support program among state women, infants, and children (WIC) program breast-feeding coordinators. (Original Article)

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Authors: Amal K. Mitra, Amal J. Khoury, Cathy Carothers and Camille Foretich
Date: Feb. 2003
From: Southern Medical Journal(Vol. 96, Issue 2)
Publisher: Southern Medical Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,316 words

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Background: Mississippi was selected as a pilot state in the national breastfeeding promotion campaign titled Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work (LSMBW). To reinforce the national LSMBW project, the Mississippi Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Breastfeeding Promotion Project Team developed a comprehensive program that included patient and family education, staff training, public awareness activities, health professional outreach, and partnerships with the community. The program also implemented a breastfeeding-friendly clinic environment project and a videotape project. This study was conducted to evaluate the impact of Mississippi's LSMBW activities among WIG breastfeeding coordinators in the United States.

Method: The cross-sectional study was performed with the use of a mailed, self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Representatives of 50 state WIC agencies returned the survey. Of these SO agencies, 36 (72%) had effectively used education materials created by the state of Mississippi. Breastfeeding coordinators reported that among the campaign activities, staff training, community outreach, and peer counseling were most beneficial. They also identified the videotape project developed by Mississippi as useful in addressing barriers to breastfeeding and in training support groups, staff, and health care professionals.

Conclusion: This study showed that Mississippi's outreach activities and motivational videotape had a positive impact on coordinators' promotion of breastfeeding.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics considers breast-feeding to be the optimal source of nutrition during the first year of life for all infants. (1) Despite the demonstrated benefits of breastfeeding, (2-5) breastfeeding rates in the United States continue to be low. (6) Rates are particularly low among participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIG) and among black women. (7,8) Rosenberg et al (9) reported a steady increase in the New York City breastfeeding rate to 58%, which might have been associated with a New York state regulation requiring that a. lactation coordinator be designated at each hospital. Health care workers, including staff and professionals who provide prenatal advice on breastfeeding, should be targeted to discuss the benefits of breastfeeding with their clients.

In 1997, Mississippi was selected as a pilot state in the Best Start/U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) national breastfeeding promotion campaign titled Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work (LSMBW). The national objectives of the campaign were to 1) increase rate of initiation and the duration of breastfeeding, 2) increase public awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding, and 3) increase referrals to WIC. (10) Best Start Social Marketing conducted formative research with WIG clients and staff in 10 pilot states, including Mississippi. To address the identified barriers, it developed a comprehensive array of materials, including a staff support kit, patient education materials, public awareness campaign materials, kits for health providers, and promotional items.

Nationally, the USDA's LSMBW campaign was implemented to some degree in all 50 states. Mississippi's implementation of the national campaign was a comprehensive statewide effort that included patient and family education, staff training, public awareness activities, health professional outreach, and partnerships with the community. The state developed additional materials to reinforce the LSMBW message, including training resources, a breastfeeding protocol manual, a resource...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Mitra, Amal K., et al. "Evaluation of a comprehensive loving support program among state women, infants, and children (WIC) program breast-feeding coordinators. (Original Article)." Southern Medical Journal, vol. 96, no. 2, Feb. 2003, pp. 168+. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.
  

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