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Simple steps needed to reduce infant mortality

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/5/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Simple things like nurtition are key.

The neonatal infant mortality rate in the United States is four out of every thousand live births. That means four children out of every one thousand born perish within hours of their birth. Presently, doctors are working to improve global rates, but all regions require more improvement.

Infant mortality is dropping, but the world can do better.

Infant mortality is dropping, but the world can do better.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/5/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: birth rate, infant mortality, developing world, solutions, methods, nutrition


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The most dangerous time for a child is when it is an infant and a toddler. At such a young age, babies cannot fend for themselves and are entirely reliant on their parents, doctors, and luck to survive into full-fledged childhood.

In the United States, the neonatal mortality rate, that is, children who die just after birth, is a relatively low four per 1,000 live births. Few other countries are lower. However, most nations are higher and in the developing world a child may still have a one-in-ten chance of dying.

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Although some cases require extensive medical intervention, most infants can be saved with simple techniques and practices, and it's a matter of education.

The UN as well as several relief organizations are working to save infants by providing basic education to pregnant women and their communities. By following simple procedures women can drastically improve the survival rate for their babies.

Many changes are simple. For example, pregnant women require excellent nutrition. By providing food for pregnant women, you dramatically improve the chances of having a healthy baby.

Help provide quality nutrition to women and kids.

When the baby is born, it should be immediately transferred to the mother to hold. That holding promotes bonding as well as keeps the baby warm, a danger in the first several moments of birth. A simple sleeping bag can provide greater warmth for an infant.

Immunizations are also important because preventable diseases account for the majority of newborn deaths worldwide. Parents and caregivers need to be vaccinated too.

Sanitation is key, and despite medical advances and awareness, sanitation can be a problem particularly in regions such as Sun Saharan Africa where even finding clean water can be problematic.

Reducing the incidence of smoking is also important because mothers who smoke or who are exposed to secondhand smoke, are more likely to deliver too early, contributing to complications.

The training of midwives and doctors to deliver babies is also important because many children are still born in homes as opposed to hospitals and following best practices will reduce the need for mothers to be rushed to hospitals. In many cases, hospitals aren't even an option.

As more women deliver healthier babies, the families and societies benefit from the joy, love, and help these children bring as they grow. Healthy children become better educated and contribute more to their household and society.

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