National WIC Association

Effects of psychosocial risk factors and prenatal interventions on birthweight: evidence from New Jersey’s HealthStart Program

Reichman NE, et al. Effects of psychosocial risk factors and prenatal interventions on birthweight: evidence from New Jersey’s HealthStart Program. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. May/Jun 2003;35(3):130-137.

This research was done to verify the linkages between the Medicaid prenatal care programs, in response to expansions of the Medicaid eligibility criteria. According to the fully adjusted model, the interventions designed to reduce behaviors like smoking, drinking, and using hard drugs (but not marijuana) during pregnancy had no favorable effects on birthweight. In contrast, participation in the WIC Program was associated with an increase in mean birthweight of 22 grams. The increase was 48 grams among inadequately nourished women only.