Cheyenne, WY—The Wyoming Chapter of the March of Dimes has awarded a $2,950 grant to the Laramie County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to encourage more low-income pregnant women in Laramie County to enroll in WIC with the goal of improving birth outcomes.
The grant will provide educational and outreach materials as well as incentives to qualifying pregnant women who enroll or participate in WIC. One incentive is that there will be no charge for a pregnant woman in WIC to attend prenatal exercise classes at the Cheyenne Regional Health & Fitness Center.
WIC is a national program that provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support and referrals to health agencies and social services to participants at no charge. WIC serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women in addition to children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk.
In Wyoming WIC is administered by the Wyoming Department of Health. Cheyenne Regional Medical Center manages the Laramie County WIC program.
“We are excited to receive this grant because it will help us provide educational and outreach materials and incentives to support clients in achieving healthy pregnancies,” said Lisa Caldwell, WIC registered dietitian. “Data show that pregnant women who participate in the program are more likely to receive early prenatal care and have good prenatal nutrition and a lower risk of low birth weight babies.” Laramie County WIC has 2,400 active participants, including pregnant and postpartum women and children up to 5 years old. About 10 percent, or 240, are pregnant women. The goal of the grant is to increase participation of eligible pregnant women in Laramie County by 10 percent within the next year.
Each year about 480 pregnant women are newly eligible to participate in the Laramie County WIC program.
“The March of Dimes is focused on healthy babies. We believe the Laramie County WIC program will help us achieve our goal of increasing awareness and educating women with the goal of seeing improved birth outcomes,” said Laneya Winney, director of Program Services, Advocacy and Government Affairs for the Wyoming Chapter of the March of Dimes. Cheyenne Regional has partnered with the March of Dimes to promote the local March for Babies, which raises funds to support healthy births in Wyoming, and to host an annual reunion for parents and children who have been cared for in Cheyenne Regional’s special care nurs