A partnership with Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey to reduce the infant mortality rate (IMR), specifically among African Americans, in Morris County. SSCDC’s Community Health Worker identifies and supports women and families who are not receiving regular healthcare during their pregnancies and beyond.
In addition to health insurance enrollment and reproductive health planning the program will also include breastfeeding support groups aimed at increasing the breastfeeding rate among non-Hispanic Black or African American women. We offer weekly visits to women who are considered to be at high risk during their pregnancies, until their child turns 3.
Despite having low rates relative to most of the rest of the US, New Jersey has the second largest disparity between Black and White IMRs and the largest disparity between Black and Hispanic IMRs because the rates for Whites and Hispanics are so remarkably low. (Disparity is measured as the ratio of Black IMR to the other group’s IMR.)African American infants in New Jersey are more than three times as likely to die before their first birthday as white, a tragedy unrelated to income or education. At the same time, African American mothers are more than four times more likely than white to die from pregnancy-related complications.
Infant mortality rate continues to be one of the most widely used indicators of the overall health status of a community. The leading causes of death among infants are birth defects, preterm delivery, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and maternal complications during pregnancy.