The chart below displays the proportion of pregnant women who were active in the WIC program during pregnancy and gained the ideal amount of weight while pregnant. An increase in this proportion indicates that the program is reaching its goal.

WIC Prenatal Participant's Weight Gain 2003-2007, Full description in table below

Tabular version of Chart "WIC Prenatal Participant's Weight Gain 2003-2007" by Statewide Percent

Quarter ending WIC
September 2003 27.24%
December 2003 25.08%
March 2004 27.47%
June 2004 27.37%
September 2004 28.09%
December 2004 28.20%
March 2005 27.99%
June 2005 28.83%
September 2005 28.83%
December 2005 29.02%
March 2006 29.10%
June 2006 29.46%
September 2006 29.84%
December 2006 29.26%
March 2007 28.53%
June 2007 28.35%

Women require additional calories during pregnancy to adequately nourish the developing fetus. The Institute of Medicine has identified ideal weight gain ranges based on a woman's pre-pregnancy weight status. The WIC Program uses these guidelines. The CDC's Prenatal Nutrition Surveillance System clearly shows women who gain too little weight during pregnancy and smoke are at the greatest risk for delivering a low birth weight baby. New research is becoming available indicating increased risks to mother and baby if too much weight is gained during pregnancy as well. Staff training now focuses on working with clients to encourage appropriate amounts of total weight gain at an appropriate rate. WIC's core strategies for the improvement of birth weight and the reduction of infant mortality are nutrition education and food supplementation. Therefore, prenatal weight gain is a core performance measure for the WIC program. Illinois' WIC program has been making steady progress in the improvement of prenatal weight gain.

Approximately 29 percent of women who participate in WIC during pregnancy gain an appropriate amount of weight, reducing the risk of low birth weight.