September is Infant Mortality Awareness month and on Saturday, September 24, 2016, Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond and her supporters will walk from Seton Medical Center in Austin to The Dell Seton Medical School at the University of Texas to raise awareness of Black Infant Mortality. Why are we walking?
From 2000 to 2013, The National Vital Statistics Report shows the infant mortality rate (IMR) declined nationally, yet there remains a persistent 2—3 fold disparity in IMR of black infants compared to their white and hispanic counterparts. Texas follows this trend with an IMR of 5.8 overall in 2013. But looking at specific data from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services for 2013, while the overall IMR was 5.8 deaths per 1000 births, the IMR of black infants statewide was 11.9 deaths per 1000 births. The picture gets even gloomier if we look at Travis County. In 2012 (the last year for which data has been compiled) the IMR for black infants was 13.6 deaths per 1000 births, 2.85 times the death rate of white infants. In 2013, the disparity ratio for IMR of black infants to all infants in Texas was 3.02, or black infants are 3.02 times more likely to die before their first birthday than infants of other races here in Travis County.
Austin/Travis County is the state capital and one of the wealthiest counties in the state. Yet since 2000 Austin/Travis County has failed in its attempts to improve birth outcomes and survival rates for black infants to match those of infants of other races. The IMR for 2013 actually represents an increase in IMR from previous data.
The Call to Action
We believe that an IMR of 6.0 deaths per 1000 or less is attainable for black infants in Travis County, just as it has been attained for infants of other races. Here are 6 steps we could initiate to make this possible:
- Strongly encourage the Texas Legislature to take the Medicaid Expansion funds allotted for the state by the Affordable Care Act. This alone would insure another 1.3 million Texans, many of them women and infants, and give more access to comprehensive prenatal care, post natal and pediatric care.
- Work to increase the number of black health care providers (physicians, nurses, midwives, lactation consultants, childbirth educators and community health workers) in Austin/Travis County.
- Include members of the black community in the conversation about Place Based health initiatives and new treatments (like 17P for the prevention of preterm labor) so that they can make informed decisions about their health care, help educate members of the community and increase utilization.
- An aggressive community outreach campaign which includes community gatherings for conversations, presentations at churches and other community venues and even door to door health information and health education efforts by members of the community.
- Educate and elevate. Black citizens in Travis County are not looking for a handout, but a hand up. When information is presented in a clear and understandable way, people are more receptive, more apt to listen and more likely to act.
- Support initiatives that will help restore the infrastructure in the black community such as improved schools, jobs, affordable housing, safe and affordable childcare, additional security, public transportation and grocery stores.
What are you doing to raise awareness about Black Infant Mortality? Share your thoughts and events in our comments section below.
For more information about our walk or to get involved, e-mail us at email@example.com
The National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 64, Number 9. August 6, 2015
The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Infant Mortality for the State of Texas and Travis County
Great News! “Former” Mama on Bedrest Parijat Deshpande and I are teaming up to bring you this month’s tele seminar, Bust Out of Your Bedrest Blues. As some of you may recall, Parijat is a clinical psychologist who specializes in dealing with the stress of infertility, high risk pregnancy, prematurity and family stress. A few weeks ago, she graciously joined me for an interview to describe her method for helping mamas deal with stress around high risk pregnancy and bed rest. Well, we both had tele seminars scheduled to address tips and techniques for dealing with Bedrest Blues. When we realized that we were both going to be talking about the same thing, we decided to come together and have one big open conversation.
So Mamas, join us for a frank and informative discussion and Bust out of Your Bedrest Blues!!
NOTE: This seminar will serve as the Third Thursday Teleseminar. The live tele seminar will be on Wednesday, March 18th, 2pm ET, 1pm CT and 11am PT. Click here to register and to receive call in information.
For those of you unable to attend the live tele seminar on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, the recorded tele seminar will be available on Thursday, March 19th. If you have a question and cannot attend the live tele seminar, or don’t want to submit your question live, feel free to submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and Parijat and I will answer your question during the call.
This is a unique opportunity to have two experts at your service to answer your questions about bed rest and the stress associated with bed rest. Don’t miss out! Submit your questions and join us on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 2pm ET, 1pm CT and 11 PT.
I am very pleased to present to you the interview that I had with Dr. Anthony Scisione, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist.
Anthony Sciscione, D.O., serves as director of the Delaware Center for Maternal & Fetal Medicine and program director of the Christiana Care OB/GYN Residency Program. He is also Director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and the OB-Gyn Residency Program at Christiana Care Health System, the Director of the Delaware Center for Maternal & Fetal Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Sciscione is widely published and is a principle and co-investigator on a number of national clinical studies in Maternal-Fetal medicine as well as a reviewer for articles in maternal-fetal medicine/health and obstetrics and gynecology.
Dr. Sciscione graciously agreed review the role of progesterone in the treatment of preterm labor as well as in the treatment of incompetent cervix. He gives a great overview, shares what is currently going on in the research arena and answers questions submitted by Mamas on Bedrest.
Please enjoy this very informative podcast and share your comments, suggestions and questions about progesterone therapy in the comments section below.