Momlogic has joined forces with the Mocha Manual to give you the information that could save your baby's life.
Kimberly Seals Allers: All moms should take notice -- because the World Health Organization ranks the United States 29th in the world in infant mortality. And among industrialized nations, the U.S. has the second worst infant mortality rate. Babies born here in the great U.S.A. are three times more likely to die in their first month than children born in Japan, according to a recent report by Save the Children. The newborn mortality rate is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland, or Norway, states the report. Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States -- and is near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia, with five deaths per 1,000 births. You get the idea.
Worldwide, causes of infant mortality are mainly related to a lack of clean water and inadequate medical care. In the U.S., other forces are at play. About 60 percent of U.S. infant deaths are related to premature births, low birth weight, and shorter gestation periods. Either way, as a country, we are failing our babies miserably. It is also a failure for the mothers who bring them into the world, only to lose them too soon. "In countries where mothers do well, children do well," Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children, said after issuing the report.
Every mom has heard the old "healthy mom, healthy baby" mantra, but experts say women who, in general, can take better care of their overall health and enter motherhood in a healthy state have the greatest chances of having healthy, strong babies who thrive.
Although the newborn mortality rate in the United States has fallen in recent decades, according to the report, it continues to disproportionately affect people of color, especially African-Americans. Only 17 percent of all U.S. births were to African-American families, but 33 percent of all low-birth-weight babies were African-American, according to the report.
Indeed, the statistics on black babies are the most dismal of all. The infant mortality rate for African-Americans is 2.3 times higher than for non-Hispanic whites. Black babies are four times more likely to die as infants due to complications related to low birth weight than non-Hispanic white infants.
Other sobering statistics from the CDC:
• African-Americans had 1.8 times the sudden infant death syndrome mortality rate than non-Hispanic whites.
• The infant mortality rate for African-American mothers with more than 13 years of education was almost three times that of non-Hispanic white mothers.
This September, Infant Mortality Awareness urges mothers to take notice that until all mothers have healthy babies, and all American-born babies have the best chance to survive their first year and thrive, there is much work to do.
This month at MochaManual.com, 50% of all sale proceeds will be donated to the March of Dimes to further their research to help all of us have healthier babies. Click here to shop for maternity and new dad tees, baby onesies, gift baskets, and Mocha Manual books to help a worthy cause.
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|