Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

WIC program might prevent mothers from feeding cow's milk too early

Date:
June 29, 2010
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Some low-income mothers are more likely than others to introduce their infants to cow's milk too soon. In doing so, they may put their children at risk of health complications, according to a study.

Some low-income mothers are more likely than others to introduce their infants to cow's milk too soon. In doing so, they may put their children at risk of health complications, according to a study by researchers at Penn State and the Institute for Children and Poverty, New York.

Related Articles


The study showed that women who enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's WIC program during their first or second trimester of pregnancy -- from week one to week twenty-seven -- were far less likely to introduce cow's milk too soon than women who enrolled in WIC during their third trimester or who did not enroll at all.

"What this study tells us is that if we intervene by enrolling low-income women in WIC earlier on in their pregnancies, it will be healthier for the babies," said Daphne Hernandez, assistant professor of human development and family studies, Penn State.

The researchers analyzed WIC enrollment by trimester of pregnancy. Past studies have only looked at whether or not women had enrolled in the program. The study is helping researchers to better understand the critical time period in which proper nutrition can be reinforced in low-income women, which will have lasting effects in improving their children's health. The researchers reported their results in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Although many adults drink cow's milk, it can be harmful to infants' health. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that children not drink cow's milk before their first birthday. In addition to being difficult for infants to digest, cow's milk is much lower in iron than breast milk and formula, which means that infants who are fed cow's milk are at an increased risk for developing anemia or other iron deficiency disorders.

Hernandez hypothesizes that women who enter WIC by their second trimester may be influenced by dietary information provided to them by WIC. The study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort -- a nationally representative longitudinal study of children born in 2001. The researchers found that low-income mothers were also far more likely to formula feed rather than breastfeed their infants. Breast milk has other benefits over formula and cow's milk. It contains antibodies that can boost infants' immunity, it can provide emotional benefits for baby and mother and it can help mothers lose post pregnancy weight. Because of the evidence for the positive effects of breast milk, WIC encourages mothers to breastfeed. However, Hernandez believes the low breastfeeding rate among WIC participants is related to the lack of proper facilities to pump breast milk at low-wage jobs sites.

"We need to rethink the environment of low-wage jobs by taking a closer look at who is being hired and what public programs are available to them to see if there's a disconnect between low-wage job facilities and advice that is delivered by public programs," said Hernandez.

Hernandez believes that doctors and employers can learn from this study and that they can provide access and information to mothers to improve their infants' health.

"If doctors know that a pregnant patient is economically disadvantaged, they can help get the patient enrolled in WIC sooner. It can be as simple as providing them with an application form or showing them a list of grocery stores that accept WIC dollars," she says.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported this work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "WIC program might prevent mothers from feeding cow's milk too early." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629094143.htm>.
Penn State. (2010, June 29). WIC program might prevent mothers from feeding cow's milk too early. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629094143.htm
Penn State. "WIC program might prevent mothers from feeding cow's milk too early." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629094143.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins