OBJECTIVE: Recent studies have raised the issue of lower breastfeeding rates for mothers enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). We wanted to explore this association of WIC and lower breastfeeding in Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFP), a national representative group of mother-baby pairs on which extensive background data are available. Our aim was to compare breastfeeding rates at 6 and 12 months in NFP high-risk mothers who were enrolled in WIC to those who were not enrolled in WIC. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective secondary analysis in mothers and infants from this cohort for 2000-2005 (n = 3,570). RESULTS: We found that at 6 months of age, 87.8% of mothers who were not breastfeeding were enrolled in WIC as compared to 82.6% of mothers who were breastfeeding (p < 0.001). However, in the multivariate analysis, WIC was no longer a significant predictor of breastfeeding. CONCLUSIONS: Prospective evaluation of this issue is warranted particularly with the implementation of changes in the WIC Food Package and Breastfeeding Promotion.
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