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  1. Background • Infant mortality is defined by the CDC as the death of an infant less than one year old. • This is a critical indicator of the well being of a community. How well are the most vulnerable members of society protected?

  2. Leading causes of infant deaths in Virginia • Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight • Congenital Anomalies • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) • Maternal Complications of Pregnancy

  3. Contributing Factors Maternal health - women are not physically healthy when they become pregnant. (poor health status throughout life) The perinatal system of care - women under-utilize perinatal care. (complicated, fragmented service delivery system) Health behaviors - failure to use contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy, smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

  4. Contributing Factors (con’t) Dangerous sleeping environments - co-sleeping, over bundled, suffocation Infections - few babies are breast fed (breastfeeding increases a child’s immune system) Injuries - child abuse and neglect

  5. Other Contributing Factors • Barriers to Care • The Institute of Medicine suggest that barriers to care are structural, financial and personal in nature • Structural barriers are things such as the location of facilities • Financial barriers are related to the cost of care • Personal barriers focus on the issue of trust between the client and provider • Minority populations are disproportionately • affected by all three types of barriers.