From economic challenges and behavioral choices, to the absence of education and the lack of access to resources, the causes for infant mortality are numerous. Babies may be born with a serious birth defect, be born too small and too early, or be victims of injuries or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

The following four areas define the situation and point to the solution:

  • Mother's Health

    An unhealthy lifestyle that includes a poor diet and bad habits such as smoking, can greatly affect the baby's health during pregnancy.
  • Prenatal Care

    Getting the mother and child initial and consistent prenatal care from a physician is crucial to ensure both a successful pregnancy, and a healthy baby.
  • Baby's Nutrition

    After babies are born, it is essential that they have access to nutritious food and beverages, and avoid items that could potentially be unhealthy.
  • A Safe Home

    The environment a baby lives in is very important. From simple childproofing, to potentially dangerous situations, a safe home cannot be taken for granted.

Infant Vitality Factors

Each individual case of infant mortality has a different combination of these many causes. Addressing these issues has shown correlations with reduced preterm and low birth weight deliveries.
  • Limited Access to Healthcare: Many areas of the Bootheel do not have dedicated health services. This makes it extremely difficult for mothers to attain prenatal and postnatal care.
  • Lack of Health Education: In addition to the absence of professional medical care, there is also an absence of information regarding pregnancy, and the overall health of the mother and child.
  • Poor Individual Choices: Oftentimes a mother’s lifestyle before, during and after pregnancy contributes highly to the risk of infant mortality. Examples include smoking, drug use, and an unhealthy diet.
  • Misguided Generational Instruction: In certain cases, family members and friends from older generations will pass along outdated information and habits.
  • Absence of Community Infrastructure: For those mothers with economic challenges, the shortage of community infrastructure, such as public transportation, can make it nearly impossible to reach medical appointments and support services.
  • Frequent Changes to Government Policies: As public programs often change requirements, availability, and structure, it can be very challenging for young mothers to navigate the landscape.

Help Us Address The Causes of Infant Mortality

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General Reports

HIDI Health Statistics – January 2015

Hospital Industry Data Institute

From January 2015 – this is part one of a two-part series covering Women's Health. This part covers the importance of Health Insurance Coverage.

Women’s Health: Obstetrics Harm

Trajectories/Missouri Hospital Association – 2015

Addresses the collaborative action needed by policy developers, providers, payers and the community, to achieve better health, better care and lower costs.

Stoddard County Child Well-Being Report

Kids Count Missouri – 2014

Report includes data on economic well-being, health, child protection and education in Stoddard County.

Scott County Child Well-Being Report

Kids Count Missouri – 2014

Report includes data on economic well-being, health, child protection and education in Scott County.

Pemiscot County Child Well-Being Report

Kids Count Missouri – 2014

Report includes data on economic well-being, health, child protection and education in Pemiscot County.

New Madrid County Child Well-Being Report

Kids Count Missouri – 2014

Report includes data on economic well-being, health, child protection and education in New Madrid County.

MIssissippi County Child Well-Being Report

Kids Count Missouri – 2014

Report includes data on economic well-being, health, child protection and education in Mississippi County.

Dunklin County Child Well-Being Report

Kids Count Missouri – 2014

Report includes data on economic well-being, health, child protection and education in Dunklin County.

© 2017 Bootheel Babies and Families. All Rights Reserved.

Bootheel Babies and Families is an infant mortality reduction initiative funded and supported by Missouri Foundation for Health working in coordination with BNHI and MBRC.