September Is Infant Mortality Awareness Month

September Is Infant Mortality Awareness Month

The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) campaign, Celebrate Day 366…Every Baby Deserves a Chance, celebrates babies living beyond the first year of life.

National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) promotes the effectiveness of ongoing programs and efforts implemented to reduce infant deaths, low birthweight, pre-term births and disparities in perinatal outcomes all year round.

What is Infant Mortality and Why is It Important?
Infant mortality is when a baby dies before its first birthday. In 2020, the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the U.S. was 5.681 per 1,000 live births. The health and well-being of children and families across the globe are measured by infant mortality rates.

The infant mortality rate is an important measure of the well-being of infants, children and pregnant women because it is associated with a variety of factors, such as:

  • Maternal health
  • Quality and access to health services and medical technology
  • Poverty and socioeconomic conditions
  • Community health
  • Public health practices

America’s IMR has gone down over the years, but it is still higher than many other developed countries.

Causes of Infant Mortality
The five leading causes of infant death are birth defects, preterm birth and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, maternal pregnancy complications and injuries (e.g., suffocation).

There are huge disparities based on race and ethnicity, as well as geographic areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information explaining these disparities.

The Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County, Inc. has two programs that serve at-risk pregnant women, new mothers and families.

The Prenatal Plus Program is designed to help pregnant women who are at risk for negative maternal or infant health outcomes. Participants can receive home based/virtual services from a nurse, nutritionist and counselor.

The Counseling for Parents of Young Children Program promotes positive mental health and social-emotional outcomes for expectant mothers, children birth to five and their families. Both of these program are funded by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Inc. and are available at no cost.

For more information, please call 561-616-1222.

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