Context and background on the campaign
WIC’s programs were established to encourage infant care. The campaign started in the year 1972 (Kirby, 2003). As such, the promotion was aimed at offering financially deprived women, infants, and young teenagers diet teachings, supplemental foods, and suitable health services. WIC’s reputation has facilitated women to attain an enhanced nutritional level and improved pregnancy results (Ploeg, 2003). Similarly, the campaign has aided young children to realize their physiological and cognitive development needs.
Breastfeeding sustenance, training, and campaign were the vital components of WIC’s services. In reality, a quota of every resource allocated by WIC was employed in funding and boosting breastfeeding programs (Suitor, 2011). It has been noted that the group’s participants have embraced breastfeeding at lower rates compared with women in the upper socioeconomic class. During the year 1995, it was observed that 59.70% of babies were breastfed in the infirmary. As projected by the American Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Service, the above program was anticipated to take advantage of WIC’s extensive network (Bendick, 2006). Through this, the operation reached many women who were not informed about the benefits of breastfeeding.
In the year 2000, the promotion had been executed in 53 out of the 87 state-owned, intertribal, or regional establishments. Later, some state-owned organizations started their program assessments and teamwork steps for nationwide program evaluation.
Discussion of the target audience and desired behavior change
The program’s primary audience was pregnant American women from Anglo, African, and Hispanic communities. The women were registered in the group based on their earnings. As such, many women from these communities supposed that breastfeeding is a disconcerting act, which clashes with career, college, and social life (Bendick, 2006). Equally, women who distrusted their capabilities to breastfeed their children were also engaged. The secondary audience comprised of persons who worked to help women in WIC programs. They included the expectant women’s mothers, spouses, fiancés, nutritionists, and health care staff.
The public constituted the tertiary audience. Social customs that are focused on breastfeeding have a robust impact on mothers’ choices about breastfeeding their infants. Because of this, the operation was directed at the public. The monitoring and assessment team acknowledged two target crowds that needed resources and policies custom-made more precisely to their wants and settings (Bendick, 2006). The groups comprised of prenatal health care workers employed outside WIC and indigenous communities. The desired behavior changes were as follows:
- To improve breastfeeding commencement rates.
- To enhance breastfeeding duration rates among WIC members.
- To intensify referrals for breastfeeding support.
- To boost the public’s perception of breastfeeding.
The marketing policies merged with public support are the key advantages exhibited by the campaign. Initially, the public perception of breastfeeding was a challenge for the group. By then, breastfeeding was considered less desirable compared with bottle-feeding. At the present, the groups’ marketing campaigns have encouraged the public to change their views.
As compared to formula nursing, the above actions require a mother to be around the infant during meal times. Currently, many women spend most of their time in the workplace. The above implies that less time is spent with their children (Bendick, 2006). In such instances, many parents prefer bottle-feeding to breastfeeding. Therefore, the requirement that a mother must be around the infant to breastfeed can be a weakness.
Currently, public awareness about the importance of breastfeeding has been enhanced. Many organizations and government agencies have funded promotions and workshops aimed at encouraging mothers to breastfeed their infants (Weimer, 2012). Such endorsements have presented opportunities to the group. As such, the boost has increased the benefits associated with breastfeeding.
Although breastfeeding has been publicly endorsed, there are many threats that have made it difficult for women to embrace the act. Threats to breastfeeding are as follows:
- Lack of information about the benefits of breastfeeding.
- The misconception is that bottle-feeding is equivalent to breastfeeding.
- The fallacy is that breastfeeding is not the social custom in many societies.
- Inadequate family and social sustenance.
- Awkwardness about breastfeeding in public.
- Lactation complications.
Discussion of its effectiveness
Based on the above benefits, it is apparent that WIC helps many members of economically disadvantaged communities. Breastfeeding sustenance, training, and campaign were the vital components of WIC’s services. As such, the organization offers financially deprived women, infants, and young teenagers diet teachings, supplemental nutritious foodstuffs, and recommendations about suitable health and communal services. Evidence indicates that women who register with the group experience enhanced pregnancy outcomes (Bendick, 2006). Through this, they have been able to give birth to healthier children and lessen the cost associated with infant medical expenses. The above acts help the babies and save the country millions of dollars required for neonatal intensive care. Similar proofs suggest that the program saves lives and advances the well-being of nutritionally at-risk mothers, babies, and youngsters (Stavans, 2010). The pieces of evidence demonstrate that the project is among the top national prosperous and economic nutrition intervention campaigns.
Bendick, M. (2006). Toward efficiency and effectiveness in the WIC delivery system (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute.
Kirby, S. (2003). Social marketing and public health: Lessons from the field: A guide to social marketing from the Social Marketing National Excellence Collaborative. Seattle, Wash.: Turning Point National Program Office.
Ploeg, M. (2003). Estimating eligibility and participation for the WIC program final report. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Stavans, I. (2010). Health care. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood.
Suitor, C. (2011). Planning a WIC research agenda workshop summary. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
Weimer, J. (2012). Breastfeeding promotion research the ES/WIC nutrition education initiative and economic considerations. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.