Publication Date

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Department

Public Administration

First Advisor

Frances Edwards

Abstract

Poor nutrition is prevalent among low-income pregnant and postpartum women, and infants. Inadequate nutrition during these vital stages can have negative effects on the health status of this population. The Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) was established specifically to help low-income women and children lead healthy lives by providing nutrition education, referrals to healthcare and other health-related services, breastfeeding promotion, and economic resources to purchase nutritious foods at retail grocery stores. WIC has been shown to have an influence on participating mothers’ infant feeding decisions for both formula- feeding and breastfeeding. Although WIC is mandated to provide breastfeeding education and support, some studies have reported that WIC unintentionally promotes formula-feeding because it has provided formula to participating mothers and infants. To determine the success of WIC in encouraging breastfeeding in Santa Clara County, this paper used a program evaluation to answer whether the program ultimately fulfills the legislative intent.

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