Applying Racial Equity to U.S. Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs - Flipbook - Page 66
Decision makers outside the structure of the federal nutrition programs can improve racial equity by taking the following actions:
1. Adjust the requirements to become a certified licensed lactation consultant to make this more accessible for people
of color. As explained in Appendix 5, there are many barriers to becoming a certified lactation consultant, including both
initial costs and costs to remain certified.
2. Provide targeted financial support for International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) education
standards, exams, and recertification costs for people of color. Providing these supports in a targeted way can increase
the number of certified lactation consultants of color who had wanted to earn a IBLCE but could not afford the classes and
testing. This in turn improves the cultural sensitivity of breastfeeding support for women of color.
3. Set a goal and devise a plan to racially diversify the field of lactation consultant (both certified and not formally
certified) to reflect U.S. demographics by 2025. There is currently no comprehensive plan in place to do this.
4. Increase support for the Community-Based Doula Program to work in concert with WIC objectives and supports.
The Community-Based Doula Program’s culturally sensitive and intimate on-the-ground model is one of several home
visiting models. Growing evidence of the impact of community-based doula programs strengthens the case for increasing
funding to reach additional mothers of color.
5. Increase support for communities of color that need specialized, culturally sensitive support from other providers
of color. When this support is carried out as a complement to WIC, it could help both programs achieve their goals of
increasing breastfeeding support for women of color and strengthening health outcomes for women and children of color.
Learn more about this in the resource Prenatal Revolution by HeatlhConnect One.
Appendix 16: Breastfeeding Rates in WIC Offices With and Without Peer Counseling
The chart on pages 68-69 shows differences in the breastfeeding initiation rates of women participating in local WIC
offices with peer counseling support, compared to those participating in local WIC offices without peer counseling. As seen
in the chart, the impact of peer counseling on African Americans was not as strong as it was for other communities of color:
Latino/a, Asian/Pacific Islander, and
Indigenous. This is to not to say that
Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality Outcomes in Prenatal WIC
peer counseling support is not helpful,
Participants and the Non-WIC Comparison Group, Stratified by
but perhaps indicates a need to
Race: Hamilton County, OH, 2005–2007
reassess how the support is designed
and implemented and ensure that
Prenatal WIC, Non-WIC Comparison
No. (Rate %)
Group, No. (Rate %)
it sufficiently reflects principles of
cultural humility, sensitivity, and
Preterm (< 37 wk)
878 (8.7) .004a
Appendix 17: Infant
Mortality Rates among
WIC and Non-WIC
The chart at right summarizes
the strong evidence from Hamilton
County, OH, that WIC services can
help narrow the racial divide in infant
mortality rates between African
Americans and whites. Based on the
chart at right, it is likely that infant
mortality disparities between other
communities of color and their white
counterparts could also be reduced
through WIC support and services,
assuming that services are culturally
sensitive and responsive.
Extremely preterm (