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The 2023 State of WIC Report: Building the Bridge to a Healthier Future, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, outlines progress on WIC modernization efforts; growing participation due to remote services; WIC's swift responses to the infant formula crisis; USDA proposed food package changes to improve nutrition security; and WIC's role in advancing health equity. The report brings together existing research and data to describe how the WIC program works and its positive impact on low-resourced families. The many useful facts and figures of the report are supplemented by quotes sharing the lived experiences of WIC participants and testimonials from WIC providers.
This report expands upon earlier healthy birth and early development work by critically examining how local community-based organizations are addressing maternal-child health-racial inequities and disparities. While home visiting, breastfeeding, doulas and baby-friendly hospitals are essential strategies for improving maternal-child health, a health gap still exists for women and families of color, as evidenced by high infant and maternal mortality rates and low infant birth weight rates in New Mexico, particularly for women of color. While the maternal-child health strategies may improve access to care for women and families of color, they do not necessarily translate to quality of care. "Evidence-based" practices will not lead to changed outcomes for W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) target populations if racial equity is not addressed and foundational in the work. The report explored how WKKF grantees are addressing, advocating for, and implementing actions to advance equity to improve maternal-child health outcomes
Fom 2014 to 2015, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) partnered with the University of New Mexico evaluation team to conduct a study to examine if and how the Foundation's investments in the strategies of folic acid initiative, home visiting, doulas, breastfeeding peer counselors and baby-friendly hospitals were improving maternal-child health in WKKF's priority places in New Mexico. One key finding in the Healthy Birth & Early Development in New Mexico evaluation report was that these strategies supported a continuum-of-care that is essential for strengthening the health and wellbeing of babies, mothers, and families from preconception through a child's third year. A continuum of care framework was developed by the evaluators to capture achievable short-term outcomes such as healthy family behaviors, policy change and systems change that over time could be linked to improvement in the long-term outcomes of full-term births, healthy birth weights, exclusive access to mother's milk, decreased adverse childhood experiences, increased social support, improved parental well-being, and healthy developmental milestones.
The STORK Program is designed to help improve the outcomes of pregnant and newborn patients in rural hospitals. STORK includes didactic and simulation training to better prepare emergency healthcare professionals to recognize and manage common obstetric and neonatal emergencieswhile critical care transport teams are en route.
The second State of WIC report – supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation – highlights the experience of WIC providers and participants throughout 2021. Effective program reforms, including the WIC benefit bump and remote WIC services, have upended longstanding trends and leave WIC better positioned to deliver quality nutrition support. This report documents the strong and growing evidence base for WIC's nutrition intervention and lays out a blueprint for how WIC can build healthier food environments by investing in the next generation.
Most lawmakers know very little about breastfeeding and lactation, much less about the needs of lactating workers. Your involvement in the advocacy process as a breastfeeding advocate or lactation expert is critical to educating lawmakers and the public about why legal rights for lactating workers are important – for maternal and child health, health equity, family economic security, and the fair treatment of women in the workplace. This toolkit is designed to support you in your advocacy journey.This toolkit shares information, model language, and tools to aid your fight for better protections in your state, no matter where you're starting. It is our hope that this toolkit will serve you as would a good nursing bra: by giving functional support, promoting access, and uplifting you in a way that makes your hard work a little easier.
Mental health affects how individuals understand, respond and interact with the world around them and evidence suggests that addressing it is key to a healthy mother-child relationship. Maternal mental health can impact how mothers engage with their children, which has a lasting and profound influence on a child's development and overall health (1). During pregnancy, maternal stress can decrease the placenta's capacity and ability to protect the baby from elevated stress hormones (1). Exposure to these elevated stress hormones in utero has the potential to cause issues throughout the lifecourse,including difficulties in learning and developing healthy relationships (2). Parents or caregivers who experience untreated depression, anxiety, and/or significant stress may be less likely to engage with their children in positive and interactive ways which is vital in promoting healthy brain development, behavioral functioning and ensuring protective relationships. The mental health of those caring for the youngest members of a family (parents and caregivers) needs to be a priority to ensure healthy families now and across the generations. In Michigan, on average, about 40,000 mothers per year are affected by perinatal anxiety and/or depression. Effective individualized tools and interventions that can help ensure parents and infants have a healthy start exist but most women with a perinatal mood disorder go untreated (17, 16). Combining interventions like early and frequent screening, relationships with trained professionals through prevention-based activities like home visiting, or interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide mothers with tools to cope, and the therapy needed, to provide nurturing environments for their children. In this brief we explore measures to help address mental health for the mother or caregiver and infant dyad while highlighting some of the solutions currently in place that help mothers, infants and families start and stay on a healthy track.
Medicaid and the Louisiana Child Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) are the most common source of health coverage for low-income women and children in Louisiana - providing vital health care coverage to nearlya million children and mothers. This number has only grown amid theeconomic hardship of the Covid-19 pandemic. The quality of care provided through these programs has long-term implications for child, family and population health. This was true before the pandemic, from which the most-recent data was drawn, and will remain so as Louisiana emerges from the pandemic.The Child Core Set (CCS), developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), offers an annual glimpse into the quality of care provided to Medicaid and LaCHIP families across five care categories: Primary Care Access and Preventative Care, Maternal and Perinatal Health, Care of Acute and Chronic Conditions, Behavioral Health Care and Dental and Oral Health Services. Reporting is voluntary until 2024 when it becomes mandatory for all states.
While the U.S. spends approximately $111 billion per year on perinatal (prenatal, birth and newborn) care, maternal and infant health outcomes are among the worst of any high-income nation and racial disparities continue. Efforts to improve outcomes generally focus on coverage, health care delivery systems and payments. Many innovations and ideas have emerged in recent years. This brief will help stakeholders concerned with maternal and infant health in Michigan understand the strengths and weaknesses of payment reforms for maternity or perinatal care, costs, and outcomes, including their impact on equity. The role of Medicaid and the beneficiaries it covers are emphasized, including Michigan data and examples from other states' efforts. This work is based on information from published studies, efforts of federal and state agencies, and national expert recommendations. Maternal Child Health (MCH) leaders inside and outside of government can use this information to support the design and development of any proposed perinatal payment reforms.
A diverse maternal and child health workplace is one that has employees of different ages, genders, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and personality bringing a multitude of lived experiences to institutions and organizations. The benefits of having a diverse workforce are far-reaching and include improvements to innovation, increased productivity, increased team communication and engagement (1-3). Overall, the U.S. population continues to become more diverse, and, in some states, there is a majority-minority population. This occurs when 50% or more of the population is composed of racial and ethnic minorities (3). While the population has continued to diversify, the healthcare workforce has not kept pace. These continued changes in the racial and ethnic make-up of the general population makes it likely that health professionals will engage with patients that have different cultural backgrounds from their own. The lack of diversity in the workforce across all health professions has revealed a national public health issue that needs attention. Initiatives and sustainable strategies for all local, state and federal levels and within public and private sectors will help better ensure that the healthcare workforce meets the needs of the diverse patient population and reflects the racial and ethnic diversity across the nation and in Michigan.
ObjectiveWe leveraged the Massachusetts perinatal quality collaborative (PQC) to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goals were to: (1) implement perinatal practices thought to reduce mother-to-infant SARS-CoV-2 transmission while limiting disruption of health-promoting practices and (2) do so without inequities attributable to race/ethnicity, language status, and social vulnerability.MethodsMain outcomes were cesarean and preterm delivery, rooming-in, and breastfeeding. We examined changes over time overall and according to race/ethnicity, language status, and social vulnerability from 03/20-07/20 at 11 hospitals.ResultsOf 255 mothers with SARS-CoV-2, 67% were black or Hispanic and 47% were non-English speaking. Cesarean decreased (49% to 35%), while rooming-in (55% to 86%) and breastfeeding (53% to 72%) increased. These changes did not differ by race/ethnicity, language, or social vulnerability.ConclusionsLeveraging the Massachusetts PQC led to rapid changes in perinatal care during the COVID-19 crisis in a short time, representing a novel use of statewide PQC structures.
Family child care is flexible in a number of ways, including affordability, payment options and scheduling. It is also based in the provider's home, creating a much more comfortable, cozy experience for everyone.This guide will empower you to make the right choice for your family and answer frequent questions about child care.
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