The differential impact of WIC peer counseling programs on breastfeeding initiation across the state of Maryland

Susan M. Gross, Amy K. Resnik, Caitlin Cross-Barnet, Joy P. Nanda, Marycatherine Augustyn, David M. Paige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This cross-sectional study examines Maryland's women, infants, and children (WIC) breastfeeding initiation rates by program participation. The authors report on data regarding demographic and health characteristics and infant feeding practices for infants (n = 18 789) newly WIC-certified from January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007. The authors compared self-reported, breastfeeding initiation rates for 3 groups: peer counselor (PC-treatment group) and two comparison groups, lactation consultant (LC), and standard care group (SCG). Reported breastfeeding initiation at certification was 55.4%. Multiple logistic regression analysis, controlling for relevant maternal and infant characteristics, showed that the odds of breastfeeding initiation were significantly greater among PC-exposed infants (OR [95% CI] 1.27 [1.18, 1.37]) compared to the reference group of SCG infants, but not significantly different between LC infants (1.04 [0.96, 1.14]) and the SCG. LC and SCG infants had similar odds of breastfeeding initiation. In the Maryland WIC program, breastfeeding initiation rates were positively associated with peer counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-443
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding initiation rates
  • Peer counselor
  • Program evaluation
  • WIC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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