This is a public collection of knowledge funded and/or published by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). Views, opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these publications are those of the authors and their respective organizations. They do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or positions of WKKF.

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2023 State of WIC Report: Building the Bridge to a Healthier Future

February 22, 2023

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.

Maternal and Child Health

Supporting reproductive health among birthing persons with chronic conditions in the US: A qualitative multilevel study using systems thinking to inform action

January 11, 2023

To use systems thinking with diverse system actors to (a) characterize current problems at the intersection of chronic conditions (CCs) and reproductive health (RH) care and their determinants, (b) determine necessary system actors for change, and (c) document cross-system actions that can improve identified problems in the United States.

A roadmap toward equitable, coordinated, quality reproductive care for women with chronic conditions

October 27, 2022

This article is the opening commentary of the Special Section on Chronic Conditions and Women's Reproductive Health in Health Services Research.

Special Section on Chronic Conditions and Women's Reproductive Health, Supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

October 20, 2022

Our project supported special sections of the Health Services Research journal. The title of this special section is Special Section on Chronic Conditions and Women's Reproductive Health. Thirteen articles and commentaries are included in the special section, and all are open access. The articles were spread across multiple journal issues. The articles were made available online ahead of the journal issue.

Pautas y Consideraciones para el Trabajo con Niñas, Adolescentes, y Mujeres Jóvenes (mentoras) de comunidades indígenas maya hablantes - La Experiencia de Abriendo Futuros en Yucatán

May 1, 2022

Como muchos programas desarrollados en el ámbito comunitario y territorial, AF ha caminado con pasos firmes, pero también con muchos desafíos. La experiencia de seis años de trabajo con niñas, adolescentes, y mentoras en el conjunto de las comunidades ha permitido identificar logros, aprender de los retos, y reconocer oportunidades para fortalecer nuestro modelo. Este documento sobre nuestra experiencia presenta recomendaciones, herramientas, reflexiones y aprendizajes que orienten sobre una ruta posible de trabajo con niñas y adolescentes mayas. Si bien los pasos pueden ser otros, conocer las experiencias de caminos ya recorridos ayuda a acelerar pasos firmes, y a sentirse acompañadxs en los inevitables tropiezos.

Obstetric & Neonatal Emergency Reference Guide

March 25, 2022

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. 

Maternal and Child Health

The State of WIC: Investing in the Next Generation

February 2, 2022

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.

Maternal and Child Health

Winning New Rights for Lactating Workers: An Advocate’s Toolkit

November 30, 2021

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.

Maternal and Child Health

Nurturing a Healthy Dyad: The Importance of Maternal and Infant Mental Health

October 5, 2021

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. 

Health Equity; Maternal and Child Health

Leveraging the Massachusetts perinatal quality collaborative to address the COVID-19 pandemic among diverse populations

July 5, 2021

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.

Health Equity; Maternal and Child Health

Reimagining Perinatal Care

March 1, 2021

Perinatal healthcare is the care a woman receives before, during and after delivery. Prenatal care is the widely used routine source of preventive care, pregnancy education, and support for expectant families in the United States, but the delivery of this care has remained largely unchanged since the 1930s. As a result, standard prenatal care delivery presents barriers to younger individuals, people of color, those living in poverty, individuals where English is their second language, and other marginalized groups (22). Currently, prenatal care focuses on medical interventions such as prenatal screening and managing chronic conditions, without consistent focus on mental health and social determinants of health. Women are generally recommended identical care regardless of risk or their individualized needs and preferences. This one size fits all model has failed to prevent adverse health outcomes such as preterm birth and maternal morbidity, particularly among racial-ethnic minority, low-income and rural women.

Health Equity; Maternal and Child Health

The State of WIC Report: Healthier Pregnancies, Babies, and Young Children during COVID-19

February 10, 2021

The inaugural State of WIC report is a unified resource for WIC providers, researchers, health professionals, non-profit organizations, and others to showcase the scope and depth of WIC services and recommendations to strengthen the WIC program, including in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report brings together existing research and data into one document to tell a complete story on the impact of WIC. It includes data profiles for each WIC state agency, including Indian Tribal Organizations and US Territories. The facts and figures of the reports are supplemented by quotes sharing the lived experiences of WIC participants and testimonials from WIC providers.

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