infant mortality rates in the US

There are 42 countries that have a better infant mortality rate than the US! What are they doing that we are not doing? Midwifery is the model of care for their pregnant women! Home birth is also a viable option for them to choose.

CNN reported “Wednesday, May 10, 2006; Posted: 12:02 p.m. EDT (16:02 GMT)

(CNN) — An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world, according to a new report.

American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found.

Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States, which is tied near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with five deaths per 1,000 births.

“The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn rate is higher than any of those countries,” said the annual State of the World’s Mothers report.”

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What the heck is going on! Why in the world in such a prosperous nation is this not changing?

Health news said, “Infant mortality is one comparative measure of national health, widely used because of the scarcity of other standardized health data in much of the world. In the United States, the infant mortality rate (IMF) has continued to steadily decline over the past several decades, from 26 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 6.9 per 1,000 live births in 2000, which looks great on the surface. However, when you compare U.S. infant mortality to that of other developed countries, a different picture emerges. While other countries have improved their international standing in infant mortality, the United States has worsened, going from 12th in 1960 to 29th in 2004, according to a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.”

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Preterm births is part of the issue- but the CDC says that part of the reason for preterm births is our increasing rate of inductions and miscalculations of due dates causing babies who are thought to be full term to not be.

The disparity of health care for the poor and women of color shows a huge disparity of unhealthy babies being born to these women.

We need to look at the 42 countries that are doing a better job than we are and seek some input on changing our health care system for pregnant women and infants!