WIC recognized by USDA for improving CNMI breastfeeding rate
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, more commonly known as the CNMI WIC program, was again named by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as one of its 2021 WIC Breastfeeding Performance Bonus Award winners for its efforts in keeping the breastfeeding rates high in the CNMI.
Among CNMI WIC participants who fully breastfed—meaning infants of participating breastfeeding women who do not receive infant formula from the WIC program—the 2020 breastfeeding rate went up 3.5 percentage points to 21.5% when compared to 2019’s rate of 18%.
The CNMI WIC program will receive approximately $2,000 for its accomplishments, and plans to use this funding to create a breastfeeding space at the Commonwealth Health Center, similar to the WIC clinic’s space.
The Surgeon General’s call to action in 2011 to support breastfeeding stated, “Only through the support of family members, communities, clinicians, health care systems, and employers will we be able to make breastfeeding become the easy choice, the default choice.”
WIC program administrator Erin Camacho echoes this sentiment, that “with proper support and guidance, we can meet mothers and babies where they are at with their breastfeeding journeys.” (PR)