- An Integrated Model of Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Support is Feasible and Associated with Improved Exclusive Breastfeeding. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Matern Child Health J 2016 Jul 16.
Background Though in-person contacts in the home have demonstrated efficacy in improving breastfeeding outcomes in peer counseling programs, home contacts are resource-intensive. Objective To compare the feasibility and effectiveness of an Integrated Model of peer counseling breastfeeding support characterized by select home visits augmented with individual WIC clinic visits and group education, in contrast to the Standard Model which includes a standard number of in-person home contacts. Methods Six counties (n = 226 participants) and nine counties (n = 472 participants) were assigned to the Standard Model and the Integrated Model, respectively. Differences in demographic characteristics and breastfeeding outcomes were tested using Chi square tests and Cox proportional hazards regression models. Results Participants in counties where the Integrated Model was implemented had fewer home contacts (p = 0.03) and were more likely to have a hospital (p = 0.03) or group education (p < 0.001) contact, whereas Standard Model participants were more likely to receive an individual WIC clinic contact (p < 0.001). While there was no difference in the hazard of discontinuing any breastfeeding between groups, participants in the Integrated Model group had a lower hazard of discontinuing exclusive breastfeeding by 3 months postpartum (p = 0.02). Among participants within the Integrated Model, group education classes were associated with higher hazard of discontinuation (p = 0.04 and p = 0.003 for any and exclusive breastfeeding, respectively). Conclusions It was feasible for peer counselors to implement changes in program delivery to achieve fewer home visits without a detrimental impact on breastfeeding outcomes. However, group education classes did not appear to be beneficial for improving breastfeeding outcomes in this population.
- Healthy store programs and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), but not the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are associated with corner store healthfulness. [Journal Article]
- Prev Med Rep 2016 Dec.:256-61.
In response to lack of access to healthy foods, many low-income communities are instituting local healthy corner store programs. Some stores also participate in the United States Department of Agriculture's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This study used two assessment tools to compare the healthfulness of offerings at stores participating in local healthy store programs (upgraded stores), WIC, and/or SNAP to that of similar non-participating stores. Based on store audits conducted in 315 New Jersey corner stores in 2014, we calculated healthy food availability scores using subsections of the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey for Corner Stores (NEMS-CS-Availability) and a short-form corner store audit tool (SCAT). We used multivariable regression to examine associations between program participation and scores on both instruments. Adjusting for store and block group characteristics, stores participating in a local healthy store program had significantly higher SCAT scores than did non-participating stores (upgraded: M = 3.18, 95% CI 2.65-3.71; non-upgraded: M = 2.52, 95% CI 2.32-2.73); scores on the NEMS-CS-Availability did not differ (upgraded: M = 12.8, 95% CI 11.6-14.1; non-upgraded: M = 12.5, 95% CI 12.0-13.0). WIC-participating stores had significantly higher scores compared to non-participating stores on both tools. Stores participating in SNAP only (and not in WIC) scored significantly lower on both instruments compared to non-SNAP stores. WIC-participating and non-SNAP corner stores had higher healthfulness scores on both assessment tools. Upgraded stores had higher healthfulness scores compared to non-upgraded stores on the SCAT.
- Household Food Insecurity Is Not Associated with Overall Diet Quality Among Pregnant Women in NHANES 1999-2008. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Matern Child Health J 2016 Jul 12.
Analyze the association between household food security status and diet quality during pregnancy.Cross-sectional analysis of pregnant women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2008. Of the 1158 pregnant women with complete household food security information, we analyzed 688 women who had complete dietary information and household incomes ≤300 % of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Diet quality was measured by the Alternate Healthy Eating Index modified for Pregnancy (AHEI-P) from 1 to 2 24 h dietary recalls. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were implemented to assess the association between household food security status and AHEI-P, adjusting for age, nativity, marital status, race/ethnicity, education, and household income.Among women with household incomes ≤300 % of the FPL, 19 % were food insecure and 4 % were marginally food secure. The mean AHEI-P score was 41.9 (95 % CI 40.4, 43.3). Household food insecurity was not associated with overall diet quality. However, living in a food insecure household compared to a food secure household was associated with a 2.3 (1.3, 4.1) greater odds of having a calcium component score greater than the median intake of calcium scores among food secure women in the sample.In a nationally representative sample of pregnant women, 80 % lived in a fully food secure household. Improving household food security during pregnancy is a public health opportunity to improve health outcomes; however household food security status may not be associated with overall diet quality.
- Racial and Ethnic Differences in Breastfeeding. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Pediatrics 2016 Jul 12.
Breastfeeding rates differ among racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Our aim was to test whether racial/ethnic disparities in demographic characteristics, hospital use of infant formula, and family history of breastfeeding mediated racial/ethnic gaps in breastfeeding outcomes.We analyzed data from the Community and Child Health Network study (N = 1636). Breastfeeding initiation, postnatal intent to breastfeed, and breastfeeding duration were assessed postpartum. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to estimate relative odds of breastfeeding initiation, postnatal intent, and duration among racial/ethnic groups and to test the candidate mediators of maternal age, income, household composition, employment, marital status, postpartum depression, preterm birth, smoking, belief that "breast is best," family history of breastfeeding, in-hospital formula introduction, and WIC participation.Spanish-speaking Hispanic mothers were most likely to initiate (91%), intend (92%), and maintain (mean duration, 17.1 weeks) breastfeeding, followed by English-speaking Hispanic mothers (initiation 90%, intent 88%; mean duration, 10.4 weeks) and white mothers (initiation 78%, intent 77%; mean duration, 16.5 weeks); black mothers were least likely to initiate (61%), intend (57%), and maintain breastfeeding (mean duration, 6.4 weeks). Demographic variables fully mediated disparities between black and white mothers in intent and initiation, whereas demographic characteristics and in-hospital formula feeding fully mediated breastfeeding duration. Family breastfeeding history and demographic characteristics helped explain the higher breastfeeding rates of Hispanic mothers relative to white and black mothers.Hospitals and policy makers should limit in-hospital formula feeding and consider family history of breastfeeding and demographic characteristics to reduce racial/ethnic breastfeeding disparities.
- A Qualitative Study to Examine Perceptions and Barriers to Appropriate Gestational Weight Gain among Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children Program. [Journal Article]
- J Pregnancy 2016.:4569742.
Women of reproductive age are particularly at risk of obesity because of excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum weight retention, resulting in poor health outcomes for both mothers and infants. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine perceptions and barriers to GWG among low-income women in the WIC program to inform the development of an intervention study. Eleven focus groups were conducted and stratified by ethnicity, and each group included women of varying age, parity, and prepregnancy BMI ranges. Participants reported receiving pressure from spouse and family members to "eat for two" among multiple barriers to appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. Participants were concerned about gaining too much weight but had minimal knowledge of weight gain goals during pregnancy. Receiving regular weight monitoring was reported, but participants had inconsistent discussions about weight gain with healthcare providers. Most were not aware of the IOM guidelines nor the fact that gestational weight gain goals differed by prepregnancy weight status. Results of these focus groups analyses informed the design of a pregnancy weight tracker and accompanying educational handout for use in an intervention study. These findings suggest an important opportunity for GWG education in all settings where pregnant women are seen.
- Reasons for Infant Feeding Decisions in Low-Income Families in Washington, DC. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Hum Lact 2016 Jul 7.
Breastfeeding rates for low-income, African American infants remain low.This study aimed to determine the barriers, support, and influences for infant feeding decisions among women enrolled in the Washington, DC, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) after revisions in the WIC package to include more food vouchers for breastfeeding mothers and their infants and improvement of in-hospital breastfeeding support.We surveyed 100 women, using a 42-item verbally administered survey that asked about demographics, infant feeding method, and influences and support for feeding decisions.The majority of participants (76%) initiated breastfeeding; 31% exclusively breastfed in the hospital. Participants were more likely to breastfeed if they had some college education, were unemployed or employed full-time, had only one child, and had been breastfed themselves as infants. Barriers to prolonged breastfeeding included limited support after hospital discharge, pain, and perceived insufficient milk supply. Participants in this study had higher breastfeeding initiation and in-hospital exclusivity rates after improvement of in-hospital breastfeeding support.Clients of WIC initiated breastfeeding at a high rate but either supplemented with formula or stopped breastfeeding for reasons that could be remedied by improved prenatal education, encouragement of exclusive breastfeeding in the hospital, and more outpatient support.
- Barriers and Facilitators to Improve Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among WIC-Eligible Pregnant Latinas: An Application of the Health Action Process Approach Framework. [Journal Article]
- J Nutr Educ Behav 2016 Jul-Aug; 48(7):468-477.e1.
Identify barriers and facilitators to improve prenatal fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake among Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)-eligible Latinas using the Health Action Process Approach framework.Qualitative data were collected via audiotaped in-depth interviews as part of a larger study to design an intervention to increase prenatal F&V intake.Hartford, Connecticut.Forty-five WIC-eligible Latinas completed the study. Included women were: ≥ 18 years old; in 2nd or 3rd trimester; having a singleton pregnancy; overweight or obese (ie, pregravid body mass index ≥ 25); not on a restricted diet; nonsmokers.Prenatal factors that promote and hinder F&V intake.Transcripts were independently read and coded, and a consensus was reached about emerging themes.Ten factors influenced prenatal F&V intake: social support, family structure, F&V access, F&V preferences, F&V knowledge, F&V health outcome expectations, self-efficacy, intentions, F&V action/coping planning strategies, and maternal health status.Social support from family/friends emerged as the primary distal factor driving prenatal F&V intake. Interventions designed to empower pregnant Latinas to gain the access, confidence, knowledge, and strategies necessary to consume more F&Vs must consider strengthening support to achieve the desired outcome.
- Barriers to Human Milk Feeding at Discharge of Very Low-Birthweight Infants: Evaluation of Neighborhood Structural Factors. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Breastfeed Med 2016 Jun 27.
Although 98% of mothers in our cohort initiated human milk (HM) provision for their very low-birthweight (VLBW) infants, fewer black infants received HM at neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharge than non-black infants. This study examined neighborhood structural factors associated with HM feeding at discharge to identify potential barriers.Sociodemographic and HM data were prospectively collected for 410 VLBW infants and mothers. Geocoded addresses were linked to neighborhood structural factors. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted for the entire cohort and racial/ethnic subgroups.HM feeding at discharge was positively correlated with further distance from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office, less violent crime, less poverty, greater maternal education, older maternal age, greater infant gestational age, and shorter NICU hospitalization. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that only maternal race/ethnicity, WIC eligibility, and length of NICU hospitalization predicted HM feeding at discharge for the entire cohort. The interaction between access to a car and race/ethnicity significantly differed between black and white/Asian mothers, although the predicted probability of HM feeding at discharge was not significantly affected by access to a car for any racial/ethnic subgroup.Neighborhood structural factors did not significantly impact HM feeding at discharge. However, lack of access to a car may be a factor for black mothers, potentially representing restricted HM delivery to the NICU or limited social support, and warrants further study.
- User-centered Design of a Texas WIC App: A Focus Group Investigation. [Journal Article]
- Am J Health Behav 2016 Jul; 40(4):461-71.
The purpose of this research was to conduct the first stages of a user-centered design of a smartphone app designed to improve health behaviors among participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Texas.Focus groups explored facilitators and barriers to health behaviors, current use of apps, and desired features in a WIC app.Facilitators to improve health behaviors included access to information, support from healthcare practitioners and family, and implementation of strategies. Current app use themes included texting/chatting, accessing information, tracking/locating, planning/scheduling, sharing, and gaming. Frequencies of key themes within and across groups were used to inform app prototype design. Mock-ups of 15 prototype features were developed based on themes of facilitators and currently used app features. Participants agreed that having all features combined into a single WIC app would be convenient and provide trustworthy information from WIC.The enthusiasm of focus group participants for a comprehensive WIC app suggests that this initiative is timely, and that an app has potential to improve health behaviors. Future research should continue the user-centered design process through further evaluation of prototype features, incorporating cultural preferences at every step.
- Farm-to-Consumer Retail Outlet Use, Fruit and Vegetable Intake, and Obesity Status among WIC Program Participants in Alabama. [Journal Article]
- Am J Health Behav 2016 Jul; 40(4):446-54.
We studied whether use of farm-to-consumer (FTC) retail outlets (eg, farmers market, farm/roadside stand) was associated with daily fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake or obesity status among women who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Birmingham, AL.We used a cross-sectional study design and recruited a convenience sample of 312 women (mean age = 27.6; 67.0% non-Hispanic black; 45.6% obese) participating in Birmingham's WIC Program. Participants were recruited between October 2014 and January 2015. Participants who self-reported purchasing produce from a FTC outlet during the 2014 farmers' market season were classified as FTC outlet users. Multivariable-adjusted regression models were used to examine associations between FTC outlet use, daily F&V intake, and obesity status (ie, body mass index ≥ 30).Approximately 26.1% of participants were classified as FTC outlet users. After adjusting for socio-demographic factors and WIC Cash Value Voucher redemption, FTC outlet use was associated with increased odds of consuming ≥ 5 servings of F&Vs per day (OR: 2.01; 95%: 1.15 - 3.50), but not obesity status (OR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.39 - 1.20).FTC retail outlet use was associated with F&V intake among program participants but not obesity status.