The goal of PHFE WIC’s BEARS project is to understand the impact of the October
1, 2009 WIC food package change on how WIC participants feed their infants. This
study is funded for two years (2009-2011) by the California WIC Program.
Specifically this project addresses the changes in how breastfeeding is defined,
changes in breastfeeding rates and the incentives that are included for
breastfeeding mothers and babies. Methods include participant surveys and data
collection and analysis.
The specific aims of this project are as follows:
Specific Aim 1. To explore the impact of the food package
change (FPC) on the Fully BF rates of infants served by PHFE-WIC.
Specific Aim 2. To explore the impact of the FPC on rates of
combination feeding of infants served by PHFE-WIC.
Specific Aim 3. To examine the BF trends and receipt of formula
in the first month postpartum (overlaps with Specific Aims 1 and 2, this aim is
targeted to the “no formula in the first month” rule).
Specific Aim 4. To explore what motivates women to choose the
“most” vs “some” combination packets after the FPC.
Specific Aim 5. To examine the associations between BF
duration/dose and infant weight from 0-24 months.
The results of two participant telephone surveys (September 2009 and August
2010) will be analyzed and presented at various local and national conferences
and journal publications will follow.
Sample survey questions include:
Did you breastfeed your baby in the hospital within the first hour after birth?
Did you hold your baby skin-to-skin on your chest within the first hour after
Was your baby fed formula at the hospital? Was this done at your request or did
the hospital staff do that without asking you?
Around the time your baby was born, did you receive any coupons that would save
you money for formula? From what sources did you receive these coupons (doctor,
family/friend, in the mail, etc.)?
Is the amount of formula that you get from WIC to help feed your baby more or
less than you usually need or about right? About how many more cans of infant
formula do you have to get? Where / How do you get more?
It is WIC’s current policy to give breastfeeding mothers who receive less than 5
cans of formula per month additional food for themselves and their babies. How
much did this policy influence your decision to get less than 5 cans of formula
from WIC each month?
For more information about BEARS, please contact