Archive for the ‘ MCH ’ Category

Premature Births Linked to Increase in U.S. Infant Mortality Rate

A new data brief was released this week by CDC, National Center for Health Statistics on how the U.S. is faring in premature births and infant mortality.  Sadly, the infant mortality rate has worsened since 2004. According to the report, premature births were the primary cause for the increase in infant mortality.

Here are the key findings from the report:

So what are the experts saying about why the United States may have more premature births?

  • Fertility treatments and other forms of assisted reproduction probably play a role because they often lead to twins, triplets or other multiple births. Those children tend to be delivered early.
  • The U.S. health care system doesn’t guarantees prenatal care to pregnant women, particularly the uninsured (Dr. Alan R. Fleischman, medical director for the March of Dimes).
  • Maternal obesity and smoking have been linked to premature births and may also be a factor.
  • Health officials are also concerned that doctors increasingly are inducing labor or performing C-sections before the 37th week. Dr. Fleischman also indicated in a  statement to the NY Times that most infant deaths do not occur in babies just shy of 37 weeks gestation, but rather in those much younger,

The report also found that while the United States more commonly saw premature births, survival rates for infants at that gestational age were as good or better than most European countries.

Below are  links to a variety of articles on this report:

Premature Births Worsen US Infant Death Rate

Premature Births Are Fueling Higher Rates of Infant M ortality in U.S., Report Says

Click HERE for access to the PDF report

Black Infant Mortality Points to Moms’ Crying Need

“If African American, Latino and Native American babies are too often in jeopardy, that means that this country is miserably failing women of color, and black women in particular, in the process of birthing healthy babies.

That’s the message that we should be sending this September, during Infant Mortality Awareness Month.”

Kimberly Seals Allers, Editorial director of Women’s eNews, wrote this fantastic piece on the racial disparities in infant mortality rates. According to the intro, “During Infant Mortality Awareness Month, Kimberly Seals Allers would like to spur a public conversation about racial health disparities and reducing the pressures on black motherhood.” The article asks tough questions about the effects of racism on maternal and child health, as well as pointing out “a woeful lack of research on the racial and ethnic differences affecting certain diseases and their treatment.”

“When we can lift the veil off the truth of our experiences as women and mothers, even when it involves uncomfortable conversations and uncomfortable realizations about our own belief systems and institutional processes, only then we can really move forward.”

Kimberly also posts on blog called MomLogic, and she featured tips from NHSA’s Toolkit for Infant Mortality Awareness Month.