Infant Mortality

Cities enlist ‘doulas’ to reduce infant mortality, By Michael Ollove, August 17, 2017, Stateline: “This city has opened a new front in its effort to give black newborns the same chance of surviving infancy as white babies: training ‘doulas’ to assist expectant mothers during pregnancy, delivery and afterward. The doula initiative is the latest salvo in the Baltimore City Health Department’s 7-year-old program to combat high infant mortality rates among black newborns…”

Baby Boxes – Washington, DC

Baby boxes proposed in D.C. as wave of states look to Finland to prevent infant deaths, By Michael Alison Chandler, July 27, 2017, Washington Post: “To prevent infant deaths in the District, lawmakers are considering a tool that has become synonymous with the record-low infant mortality rate in Finland — a cardboard box. ‘Baby boxes’ come packed with new baby supplies and are outfitted with a firm, foam mattress so they can double as a bassinet during the baby’s first months, offering a safer alternative to co-sleeping…”

Baby Box Program – New Jersey

Baby in a box? Free cardboard bassinets encourage safe sleeping, By Lisa W. Foderaro, February 12, 2017, New York Times: “Jernica Quiñones, a mother of five, was the first parent in New Jersey to get her free baby box — a portable, low-tech bassinet made of laminated cardboard. But first, she had to take an online course about safe sleeping practices, which experts say can sharply reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome.  ‘Basically, you want to have the baby on the mattress, and that’s it,’ she said after watching a 20-minute series of videos.  The message may not be new. But health officials say it is critical to keeping babies safe. To reduce infant mortality, parents must put babies to sleep on their backs on a firm mattress in either a bassinet or a crib — with no pillow, blanket, stuffed animal or bumpers.  Now, New Jersey has become the first state to adopt a broad program to reduce infant deaths by aiming to distribute as many as 105,000 of the so-called baby boxes — the expected number of births in the state this year…”

Infant Mortality – Milwaukee, WI

As racial gap widens, infant mortality rate goal virtually beyond reach, By Crocker Stephenson, June 14, 2016, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “African-American babies are dying in Milwaukee at a rate that is more than three times that of white babies, according to data released Tuesday by the Milwaukee Health Department. Approaching historic levels, it is the worst racial disparity in infant deaths that the city has seen in more than a decade.  And while the average infant mortality rate for both black and white babies decreased during the three-year period ending in 2015, it now appears all but impossible that the city will reach the goal it set in 2011 of reducing the black infant mortality rate 15% by 2017…”

Infant Mortality – Butler County, OH

  • Why black babies die at twice the rate of whites in Butler County, By Wayne Baker, January 22, 2016, Hamilton Journal-News: “Black babies in Butler County are dying before the age of 1 at twice the rate of white babies. It’s a troubling and puzzling statistic that local and state health experts say contributes to Ohio’s high infant mortality rate, which is among the worst 10 percent in the nation. This medical and social issue is being addressed by several health agencies in the area and nationwide, but most of the data compiled so far has left the experts puzzled as to why this is happening…”
  • Ohio Medicaid to help Butler County combat infant mortality, By Wayne Butler, February 11, 2016, Hamilton Journal-News: “Local community and political leaders, along with representatives from the five Medicaid managed care plans, joined Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy Thursday afternoon to discuss ways to combat high infant mortality rates in Butler County and across the state. The Journal-News reported in a three-part series last month that black babies in Butler County are dying before the age of 1 at twice the rate of white babies…”

Global Child Poverty

Report: economic growth failing to help world’s poorest kids, By Katy Daigle (AP), June 23, 2015, Washington Post: “Global resolve to rescue impoverished children from lives of squalor, disease and hunger has fallen short, with economic development in many countries still leaving millions of the most vulnerable behind, according to a UNICEF report released Tuesday. The data show a bleak situation: The world’s poorest children are almost twice as likely to die before their 5th birthday as children from wealthier homes, and the proportion of those dying within days of being born is even increasing…”

Infant Mortality – Milwaukee, WI

Preterm birth kills more Milwaukee babies than other causes combined, By Crocker Stephenson, May 5, 2015, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Preterm birth kills Milwaukee babies more readily than all the other causes of infant death combined, kills a disproportionate number of African-American babies, and each year across Wisconsin absorbs hundreds of millions of dollars that might otherwise be used to promote healthy birth outcomes. That has been the trend for years. According to preliminary data to be released Wednesday by the Milwaukee Health Department, 2014 was no different…”

Infant Mortality

Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment, By Christopher Ingraham, September 29, 2014, Washington Post: “The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean one. Despite healthcare spending levels that are significantly higher than any other country in the world, a baby born in the U.S. is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland or Slovakia…”

Infant Mortality – Detroit

Babies pay for Detroit’s 60-year slide with mortality above Mexico’s, By Esmé E. Deprez and Chris Christoff, June 10, 2014, Bloomberg: “Detroit’s 60-year deterioration has taken a toll not just on business owners, investors and taxpayers. It’s meant misery for its most vulnerable: children and the women who bear them. While infant mortality fell for decades across the U.S., progress bypassed Detroit, which in 2012 saw a greater proportion of babies die before their first birthdays than any American city, a rate higher than in China, Mexico and Thailand. Pregnancy-related deaths helped put Michigan’s maternal mortality rate in the bottom fifth among states. One in three pregnancies in the city is terminated. Women are integral to the city’s recovery. While officials have drawn up plans to eliminate blight. . .”

Budget Cuts – Michigan

State’s health budget trims funding for infant mortality, public aid, By Kathleen Gray and Robin Erb, June 11, 2014, Detroit Free Press: “Harper and Hutzel hospitals lost out on $6.5 million in state money to help fund their infant mortality and high-risk pregnancy programs in Detroit, when the Department of Community Health budget was approved by a conference committee Tuesday without the funding. In addition, the Department of Human Services saw $287.6 million in cuts to the money it’s spending on public assistance for poor Michiganders as the economy recovers and more people reach the 48-month limit for benefits and are kicked off welfare rolls. These are the cuts that hurt the most vulnerable people, said social service advocates at a time when the state’s unemployment rate still remains among the nation’s highest at 7.4% and poverty rates are increasing, especially among children. . .”