National Infant Mortality Awareness Month
Improving Birth Outcomes
Infant mortality is the death of an infant before their first birthday. NICHQ is committed to improving birth outcomes and ensuring every child reaches their optimal health.
Through our Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (Infant Mortality CoIIN), NICHQ engaged 51 states and jurisdictions and more than 2,800 federal, state, and local leaders, public and private agencies, professionals, and communities to use quality improvement, innovation, and collaborative learning to address this significant public health issue.
The Infant Mortality CoIIN initiative, completed in 2017, focused on six strategic areas:
- SIDS/SUID/Safe Sleep
- Smoking Cessation
- Preconception/Interconception Health
- Social Determinants of Health
- Prevention of Preterm and Early Term Births
- Risk-appropriate Perinatal Care (perinatal regionalization)
Reducing Early and Preterm Births
Reducing infant mortality in the United States requires public health agencies to work together with healthcare providers, community-based organizations, and other partners to help address the social, behavioral, and health risk factors that contribute to infant mortality and affect birth outcomes.
Through our IM CoIIN initiative, many states focused their efforts on strategies that were intended to reduce early and preterm births (less than 37 weeks gestation, PTB), a leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity.
- Read our case study about states' Efforts to Address Preterm Birth Rates.
- Watch the accompanying webinar where States Share Interventions, Policy Efforts, & Emerging Issues
Be a Children's Health Change Agent
Like you, we have a shared passion for improving the health of every child in every state across the country. Join us in our mission. Take action to make a difference for children now and in the decades to come:
- Donate. Give a gift that supports NICHQ’s initiatives that touch millions of children’s lives. Every dollar raised benefits the health and well-being of children.
- Sign up. Join our network of thousands of other subscribers. We deliver resources, articles and webinars right to your inbox so that we can drive change in children’s health outcomes together.
Related Articles about Infant Mortality
Communicate, Collaborate and Innovate to Reduce Infant Mortality
Compared to other Western countries, infant mortality in the U.S. is shockingly high. High infant mortality is a social problem that can only be solved through massive collaboration and out-of-the-box innovation.
Data Drives Vermont’s Focus on Infant Mortality Reduction
With an infant mortality rate of 4.4 per 1,000 births, Vermont has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the country, but, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) knows there is always room for improvement. As a part of the NICHQ-led Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (Infant Mortality CoIIN), NICHQ helped VDH use data to drive discussions and make decisions about where to prioritize its work: smoking cessation and safe sleep awareness.
Delaware Hones in on Medical-Legal Partnerships to Reduce Infant Mortality
Unmet housing needs, lack of access to quality healthcare, financial insecurity, immigration status and family stability are just some of the social determinants of health affecting pregnant women. Many of these stressful situations require legal aid, but healthcare and the law have historically worked separately. Delaware is working to develop medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) to address these stressors in an integrated way and improve health outcomes for women and babies.
Efforts to Reduce Infant Mortality Focus on Underserved Populations
In our special Underserved Population Series, we’ve highlighted teams that have made strides in reaching underserved populations across different strategic focus areas for addressing infant mortality.
How Sharing Data Can Help Cities and States Reduce Infant Mortality
Data sharing is one of the most significant barriers between city and state health departments when it comes to reducing infant mortality. States and cities accumulate a great deal of data at various levels on birth outcomes and maternal care, but they don’t always make it readily available to each other.
Infographic – America’s Problem: Infant Mortality
Although great strides have been made in recent years, infant mortality remains a problem in the United States. The infant mortality rate has declined – dropping 13 percent between 2005 and 2013 – while still leaving the U.S. far behind many industrialized nations.
Investigating a Possible Link Between Substance Abuse and Infant Mortality
Washington state is known for having a low rate of infant mortality—fifth lowest in the U.S. But the state is still actively working on reducing infant mortality even further. In fact, leaders in the state are developing an interesting strategy that targets substance abuse.
Managing Life Stressors Helps to Reduce Infant Mortality
By addressing the underlying causes of infant mortality, in particular, stress, teams hope to reduce infant deaths overall, as well as close the disparity gap between white and black babies. Read on about how two Infant Mortality CoIIN teams are tackling different aspects of stress for pregnant women in their states.
New Toolkit for Addressing Infant Mortality
The infant mortality toolkit supports teams looking to improve infant health in their communities.
What’s Behind NYC's Drastic Decrease in Infant Mortality Rates?
The saying, “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere,” of New York City, holds true for even its youngest members. New York City’s infant mortality rate—4.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in the first year of life—is nearly 30 percent lower than the U.S. rate. What’s the city’s secret? A multi-pronged, multi-sector approach that taps into the power of collaboration.
Building Agency and Self-Efficacy: A Vital Opportunity to Reduce Sleep-Related Infant Deaths
Understanding how to support agency can help health care professionals transform their conversations with families and tap new and innovative approaches. Below, Milt Kotelchuck, PhD, MPH, provides six practical opportunities, drawing on more than three decades of experience working in maternal and child health quality improvement.
Addressing Infant Health Disparities in the American Indian Population Starts by Building Trust with Tribes
Native Americans have rich traditions and beliefs that often conflict with Western healthcare culture. To address disparities in infant health in this vulnerable population, experts say public health and healthcare workers need to build relationships first, then offer advice second.
An African-American Fraternity Alliance is Changing Infant Health Outcomes
In Arkansas, nearly 300 babies die before their first birthday each year. That’s almost a baby every day. Determined to change these numbers and reach communities most affected, the Arkansas Department of Health turned to a nontraditional partner for maternal and infant health: Brothers United, an alliance of African American fraternities.
How can Hospitals Reduce Sleep-Related Infant Deaths?
Improving conversations between health professionals and caregivers can help ensure that more families have the knowledge, skills and self-efficacy to practice safe sleep at every sleep. Right now, hospitals across the country are developing a bundle of evidence-based best to spread and scale. Keep reading for four key takeaways.