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4 Facts About Infant Mortality and 4 Ways You Can Help

Posted on September 2, 2016 by in

What is Infant Mortality?

Infant mortality is the death of an infant before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

Why is it important?

Infant mortality is an important tool to gauge the health of a nation because it correlates with maternal health, quality and access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions and public health. Premature birth, low-birth weight, the health of the mother before birth, birth defects and unsafe sleep conditions are the leading causes of infant mortality.


Infant Mortality Nationally

In 2015, America’s IMR was 6.1. In other words, 23,000 babies died before their first birthday. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 other industrialized nations do better than the United States at keeping babies alive.

Infant Mortality: Race/Ethnicity and Monroe County

Infant mortality is not distributed equally in the United States. In 2013, the infant mortality rate among non-Latino white babies was 5 per 1,000 births, as was the infant mortality rate among Latinos. The rate among non-Latino black babies, however, was more than 11 per 1,000 births. That same year in Monroe County, the infant mortality rate among non-Latino black babies was 15.1 per 1,000 live births. African-American babies born in Monroe County are 4 times as likely to die before their 366th day as white babies. These facts can be hard for some to comprehend, but show that racial and ethnic disparities are real.

4 Ways You Can Make a Difference

  1. clinton-familyIn 2010, over 59 babies in Monroe County died before their first birthday. This year, those babies would have filled over two kindergarten classrooms. On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, in honor of Infant Mortality Awareness Month, Healthy Baby Network, together with the City of Rochester and WDKX, is bringing our community together to ensure that every baby born this year makes it to kindergarten in the fall of 2021. There will be music, food, family activities and entertainment, as well as information and resources about how each of us can be a part of helping every baby born this year make it to kindergarten. Come countdown to 2021 with us! For more information about this event visit:
  1. At the Healthy Baby Network, it is our mission to help every baby reach their first birthday.  Ending infant mortality takes all of us.  We invite YOU and our whole community to join us in putting an end to infant mortality.  Find out more about how donating to the Healthy Baby Network can help:

pavillionHow will your donation make a difference?  Your donation will:

  • Connect mothers and babies with health care.
  • Provide case management and home visitation services to high risk mothers.
  • Bring social supports such as food security, housing assistance, and job training directly to vulnerable mothers and families.
  • Empower mothers through education to take control of their health and their family’s health.
  1. Throughout September, the Rochester community will raise awareness by displaying onesies as part of Healthy Baby Network’s Onesie Campaign. This is the fifth year that Healthy Baby Network is joining with colleagues and program participants to display onesies in memory of all babies who died before their first birthdays. These onesies are displayed on clotheslines throughout the community at various locations, agencies, and organizations. Find out how you can help babies live healthy lives here:
  1. Staff MemberNgozi Udo, Health Educator at Healthy Baby Network, provides free presentations about infant mortality which include local facts and national initiatives. If you would like Ngozi to present at your organization, please contact her at or 585-546-4930 x221.


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About Healthy Baby Network

At Healthy Baby Network, we are dedicated to giving babies a healthy start in life. Through data, health planning, and creating social support for mothers, we are transforming our community baby by baby.