We know that these factors reduce infant mortality:
- Ensure pregnant women have access to and receive adequate prenatal care.
- Reduce the number of teen pregnancies.
- Reduce the number of pre-term babies(<37 weeks gestation) by
- Reducing the number of women using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy
- Reducing the number of women who smoke during pregnancy
- Increase the amount of folic acid a woman gets before and during pregnancy
- Increase the number of women that maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, since obesity has been linked to pre-term labor.
- Increase the number of women that choose natural child birth, by reducing planned c-sections or medically induced labors.
- Increase the number of mothers that breastfeed their infants.
- Decrease infant exposure to secondhand smoke and other risk factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome “SIDS”.
- Encourage “back to sleep” programs that highlight the importance of putting babies to sleep on their backs
- Increase the number of women that graduate high school. Higher levels of education are linked to better infant care.
Workgroup members have identified that these are key to reducing infant mortality:
- Improve preconception health care delivery
- Combating racism
- Increasing postpartum and inter-conception support
In other communities these programs and strategies are working:
Access to care and community collaboration:
Ohio's Community Health Access Project (CHAP) supports the work of Community Health Workers in Richland County Ohio and operates the local Pathways Community HUB. The HUB Model is an evidence based community care coordination approach focused on reaching those at greatest risk, comprehensively evaluating their risk factors and accountably reducing them. The work is done by culturally connected community health workers (CHWs), nurses and social workers. They reach out to engage those populations most at risk. Using specific checklists they identify risk factors. Working as a team with nurses, social workers and in physicians they assure that identified risk factors are addressed with specific Pathways that require confirmed evidence based and best practice intervention.
Their work and the Pathways that document the outcome focused steps, assure individuals connect to primary care and prevention services, behavioral health, housing, food, clothing, adult education and employment. Consistent with National Quality Forum (NQF) guidelines of care coordination, each at risk individual receives a comprehensive assessment. All identified issues within that assessment are prioritized and worked though making sure they connect to the interventions needed. Connection to the interventions that address the identified risk factors confirms that each health, social and behavioral health factor has been addressed and results in reduced risk, reduced stress, improved outcomes and reduced cost.
To access the HUB Manual go here.
Emerging research shows that increased paternal involvement during pregnancy and infancy reduces infant mortality and that racial/ethinic disparities may be reduced through increasing paternal involvement. Below are evidence based intervention to increase paternal involvement.
Boot Camp for New Dads® or Daddy Boot Camp® is a father-to-father community-based workshop that aims to inspire and equip men to become confidently engaged with their infants, support their mates, and personally navigate their transformation into dads. It offers Dads-to-be the tools and knowledge needed to feel confident on their journey to becoming new fathers. Experienced dads, who have been trained as coaches, teach dads-to-be how to hold, comfort, diaper, swaddle and play with their infant while being able to support the new mom as well. Multiple health systems in North Carolina currently offer this class including Carolinas Health Care, Cone Health, UNC Health Care, and WakeMed.
Father-Friendly Check-Up™ is a tool to help organizations assess the degree to which their operations encourage father involvement. See here.
24/7 Dad® is a comprehensive fatherhood program available with tools, strategies, and exercises for fathers of all races, religions, cultures, and backgrounds. Itt focuses on the characteristics men need to be good fathers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week like masculinity, discipline, and work-family balance – and helps men evaluate their parenting skills.
The Nurturing Fathers Program is and evidence-based, 13-week training course deisgned to teach parents and nurturing skills to men. The class addresses creating safe, loving, stable, and nurtured families; positive discipline tools taught through a uniquely father-friendly method for successful child behavior management; effective family communication techniques to strengthen the father-child and father-mother relationships; how to stop fighting and arguing by using proven-effective strategies for conflict resolution and problem solving; how to achieve cooperation and teamwork in family life.