Courtesy Activate Allen County
Across the state of Ohio, Maternal and Infant Health has become an issue that has come to the forefront of importance. What do we exactly mean when we talk about Maternal and Infant Health? We are specifically discussing the needs of mothers who are pregnant and what needs they may have in order for them to achieve a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy child at the right time and at a proper birth weight. We are also talking about the number of babies who die before they reach their first birthday, which is known as the infant mortality rate. Infant mortality is a public health crisis globally, nationally and according to recent reports a state priority as well. In 2012, Ohio ranked 50th in the United States for African-American infant mortality.
A plan at the national level has established the objective of lowering the infant mortality rate significantly nationwide by 2020. The Ohio Department of Health and the Governor’s office have made decreasing infant mortality one of Ohio’s top health priorities. As a county, in 2010, 9.4 percent of Allen County live births were considered low birth weight, compared to 8.6 percent at the state level. Additionally, 23 percent of Allen County mothers smoked during pregnancy in 2014, compared to 18 percent across the state. While data is still being collected and plans are being made across the county to address the areas of most need, some steps have already taken place. The Maternal and Infant Task Force was formed during the fall of 2014. Members of this group are focusing on promoting education, pregnancy spacing and safe sleep techniques.
Additionally, a community guide has been created to assist women with getting connected with the services they need in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy. The Maternal Infant Resource Guide gives information on how to prepare before pregnancy, during pregnancy, as well as after birth.
Call our office for a free copy or download it at www.activateallencounty.com. If you wish to join the Maternal and Infant Task Force, have questions about the resource guide, or just want to learn more please feel free to contact us.