A report from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene‘s Vital Statistics Administration (VSA) has good news for Maryland overall and Frederick County in particular when it comes to our newest residents.
Between 2008 and 2009, Maryland’s infant mortality rate dipped nearly 10% – from 8 deaths per 1,000 live births to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Frederick County is one of only two counties state-wide to see a statistically significant decline in its infant mortality rate — dropping from 8.4 deaths per 1,000 live births to just 3.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. In raw numbers, 25 babies less than one year old died in 2008; compared to 11 in 2009.
While there is still work to be done, FMH is proud to play a part in bringing these numbers down by providing prenatal care to local residents who are uninsured or under-insured at the FMH Auxiliary Prenatal Center.
The recent VSA report shows low birth weight was one of the top causes of infant death, accounting for 25% of the cases. Research has shown early and regular prenatal visits reduce the risk of having a low birth weight baby – so by making these visits more accessible and affordable we hope to see the infant mortality rate continue to drop.
At the Prenatal Center, patients receive care from Certified Nurse Midwives who teach mothers-to-be about what to expect during pregnancy, screen for any health problems (like gestational diabetes) and refer patients to services like WIC and childbirth classes.
Perhaps most importantly, Prenatal Center staff-members monitor the health of both moms-to-be and their babies. Keeping an eye on the little one’s progress is important because it helps us identify any potential issues early, lowering the risk of a pre-term delivery and/or low birth weight.