CWA partners with breastfeeding advocates all over the state to draw attention to the stark health inequities caused by inadequate breastfeeding support policies in many California hospitals. We seek policy reforms through local organizing, administrative and legislative advocacy.Learn More
Our Vision for Breastfeeding: NO WRONG DOORLaurie True - July 25, 2014
As part of our long-standing role in breastfeeding advocacy, CWA envisions a Breastfeeding Continuum of Care, an integrated system of care that supports new parents with quality services when they need it, wherever they are, and tracks their progress so they don’t fall through the cracks.
This means, for example, a pregnant mom should be able to get help making and keeping an informed infant feeding decision in many places: at WIC (of course!), at her doctor/midwife appointments and childbirth classes, and even in the grocery store, pharmacy, child care and wider community! In other words, there should be No Wrong Door for anyone who seeks breastfeeding support. All doors should lead to high-quality, evidence-based care or referrals.
As healthcare reform sweeps in, it’s important to realize that WIC is no longer the only door where low-income moms can potentially find accurate information, peer support, counseling and skill-building. Other doors are opening: hospitals, community clinics, employers in every industry, and even retailers are ramping up their breastfeeding support.
This new trend is excellent news for WIC participants! On their behalf, WIC breastfeeding practitioners should embrace, not resist, community partnership opportunities. Not only does it keep the focus on participants but it could increase the power of WIC to make breastfeeding truly the norm in the communities we serve.
With National Breastfeeding Month (August) and World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) almost upon us, we urge you to seize the local and varied advocacy opportunities that these breastfeeding events provide!
WIC and Early Literacy: A Great FitLaurie True - June 12, 2014 Are you counseling more WIC moms who seem to have their noses glued to their smartphones? This habit may be more than irritating. The parental disengagement you observe may actually be putting children’s future achievement at risk. New research shows how early stimulation is critically important to brain development from birth to three years of age.
One way to measure the achievement gap is by simply counting the number of words young children are exposed to. Children who simply hear more words (like 30 million more in the first three years of life!) were more ready for kindergarten and were stronger readers and got higher test scores in third grade. The kids who started out behind, stayed behind.
WIC providers are perfectly positioned to help prevent this tragic achievement gap during the brief but critical time WIC families are with us for nutrition services. All we have to do is show moms and dads how to feed their children’s brains—as well as their tummies—from the very beginning! And it’s not just about reading books, it’s about having fun talking, playing and singing, which builds brains and forges important bonds.
This week, we invited two amazing early literacy pioneers, our own WIC expert Dr. Shannon Whaley of PHFE WIC and Susan True (yes, she’s related!) of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, to a WIC WORKS Webinar to share some fabulous new early literacy resources and an amazing WIC-based intervention called Little By Little. Hillary Clinton is ramping up this work nationwide through her Too Small to Fail initiative.
What steps can you take in your WIC setting to get the word out about Talk, Read, Sing? Any WIC provider can easily access early literacy promotional materials and PSAs online. We invite you to check out the Webinar slides and other materials, and urge you to contact your county’s First Five Commission to partner with them on the Campaign.