From 2012-16, we lost 662 babies across the Kansas City metro, equal to 11 babies every month. These numbers only tell part of the story. The deaths of African-American infants are double that of white babies. These disparities are even starker in Wyandotte County where the mortality rate for African-Americans is at a metro high of 12.9 per thousand births. Pre-term birth accounts for half of infant deaths in the Kansas City metro. There are several causes of pre-term birth including: tobacco use, short spacing between pregnancies, and high blood pressure. Most sleep-related deaths are preventable. The safest place for baby to sleep is in a crib, alone and on their back. Early prenatal care is the best strategy to detect birth defects. Other deaths may include: accidents, infections and homicides among other causes.
Losing 7 out of every 1,000 babies in the Kansas City metro is not acceptable. These babies are often born to underprivileged women. These deaths are twice as high for African-American mothers. The largest number of deaths result from babies being born prematurely. At Nurture KC, we believe this is a public health crisis that demands a community response.
We support the pregnancy and childbirth benchmarks set by Healthy People 2030 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We put these objectives into action at our local level. Read the below section to learn more.
Nurture KC implemented the Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program in Kansas City, modeled after national FIMR, a program dedicated to reducing infant mortality and health care disparities. FIMR is an action-oriented case review team identifying trends in fetal and infant losses in the highest infant mortality zip codes of Kansas City, along with gaps in the health care system. The team sends its recommendations to the Birth Outcomes and Monitoring Committee, an umbrella of the Kansas City Health Commission, for community action.
FIMR Activities Include:
• Connecting mothers and families to support groups and other identified needs.
• Helping mothers experiencing loss by listening to their story on the birth and loss of their baby during the FIMR interview.
• Working to change and improve the health delivery systems to prevent future losses.