Maternal and Infant Mortality

Maternal and Infant Mortality

Maternal and infant mortality refer to the number of deaths of women during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days after delivery and of children under the age of one year, respectively. These are significant indicators of a population’s overall health and well-being and high rates can indicate broader public health and socioeconomic issues. Reducing maternal and infant mortality is a global priority, as it is essential for achieving sustainable development and improving health outcomes for women and children.

Reducing maternal and infant mortality is a global priority, as it is essential for achieving sustainable development and improving health outcomes for women and children.

 

Understanding Maternal Mortality

Maternal mortality refers to the death of a woman while pregnant, during delivery, or within 42 days after delivery, due to pregnancy-related causes. The maternal mortality rate in the United States was estimated to be around 24 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020. This is higher than in many developed countries and has been increasing recently, particularly among communities of color. 

Women who are at higher risk for maternal mortality include those who are:

  • Of older maternal age (35 years or older)
  • From low-income or marginalized communities
  • Pregnant with multiple fetuses (e.g. twins or triplets)
  • Living with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse
  • Living in areas with limited access to quality maternal healthcare services
  • Have previously experienced a maternal death, stillbirth, or preterm birth 

Understanding Infant Mortality

Infant mortality refers to the death of a child under the age of one year. High infant mortality rates can indicate broader public health and socioeconomic issues that need to be addressed. The infant mortality rate in the United States was estimated to be around 5 deaths per 1,000 live births. The leading causes of infant mortality include:

  • Preterm birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Maternal complications during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Injuries (e.g. suffocation, drowning)
  • Infections (e.g. pneumonia, meningitis)

How to Prevent Maternal and Infant Mortality

Preventing maternal and infant mortality requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the medical and social determinants of health. Some strategies to prevent maternal and infant mortality include:

  1. Improving access to quality prenatal, obstetric, and postpartum care
  2. Addressing social determinants of health
  3. Promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyles
  4. Increasing public health education and outreach
  5. Improving data collection and monitoring
  6. Strengthening health systems

 

Unfortunately, your child/baby is over 3 months old and doesn't meet the eligibility criteria for this program. However, we recommend exploring other programs that may be better suited for their current age.
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