Tag Archives: infant mortality

Neighborhood and Community

By Annalise Robinson

In Kalamazoo, black babies are dying at a 4.5 times higher rate than white infants. When we ask the question, “ Why are black babies dying at a higher rate than white?” we must first note that 85 percent of black women giving birth in Kalamazoo County live in poverty. We must then examine the environments in which these mothers and infants reside. Because of the constraints of the segregated neighborhoods, access to adequate health care before, during, and after pregnancies is rare for black mothers in Kalamazoo. Many health and social work professionals in Kalamazoo have named several resources that are available to mothers, but these abundant resources in greater Kalamazoo are not reaching certain communities and neighborhoods for a number of reasons; the inability to access transportation, inadequate family care, and lack of a shared support system of the entire community in the greater Kalamazoo community, to only scratch the surface. Continue reading Neighborhood and Community

Addressing Infant Mortality and Safe Sleep Through Education by a Systems Integration Approach

By Dylan Shearer

On average in the United States, four million babies are born each year, which translates to approximately 7 or 8 births per minute. A more sobering fact is that not all of these babies will live to see their first birthday; in fact, six infants out of every 1,000 births will die within their first year of life. Surprisingly, in the US more babies die proportionately than countries like France, Germany, England, and even Japan. In this article, I seek to reveal why safe sleep specifically is important by contextualizing it with focus group interviews conducted among mothers and healthcare professionals in Kalamazoo, and I will suggest that safe sleep educational initiatives and a systems integration approach should be utilized to combat infant mortality in a way that builds strong community relationships and fosters communication. Continue reading Addressing Infant Mortality and Safe Sleep Through Education by a Systems Integration Approach

Domestic Violence as a Contributor in Infant Mortality

By Camryn Romph

The racial disparity of infant mortality in Kalamazoo, Michigan has recently come to the community’s attention. Statistically speaking, black babies are currently 4.5 times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies are. In a class project, focus groups were conducted to identify certain themes that tie together many different individual cases of infant mortality. One of these themes, domestic violence, was a common factor in many of the unique stories and experiences of both women who have been affected by infant mortality, as well as Kalamazoo community health care professionals. Many of the participants, as well as other studies, suggest that there is also a racial disparity that shows the black population may also be more likely to experience domestic violence. Domestic violence in itself creates a myriad of complications and consequences, both indirect and direct, which can impact the health of a mother and an infant and, in turn, may influence the mortality of an infant. This paper seeks to contextualize domestic violence and the diverse roles and contributions it has on the racial disparity of infant mortality in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Continue reading Domestic Violence as a Contributor in Infant Mortality