Babies Born Healthy


Welcome to Babies Born Healthy

Infant mortality is one of the most critical indicators of the overall health of a population. Many factors, such as family history, personal health history, diet, environment, lifestyle, and poor access to quality health care are known to contribute to infant mortality. While infant mortality rates in Maryland have declined (Infant Mortality in Maryland 2017), they are above the national average and Healthy People 2020 goal, and disparities persist. As the lead State agency charged with reducing infant mortality, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has continued efforts to help Maryland turn the curve and move forward on this important public health problem.
While the statewide infant mortality rate has decreased 32% since 1990, infant mortality rates among Black non-Hispanic births are consistently more than double the rates among White non-Hispanic births. A 59% reduction in the Black non-Hispanic infant mortality rate is needed to eliminate this racial disparity. The MDH Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) conducted a Perinatal Periods of Risk (PPOR) analysis which suggests the leading contributors to excess fetal and infant deaths in Maryland are related to maternal health and maternal health care in Black non-Hispanic women. The largest numbers of infant deaths occur in the largest jurisdictions and the highest infant mortality rates are observed on the eastern shore.
In response, the Babies Born Healthy (BBH) Program targets resources to the eight jurisdictions with the highest numbers and highest rates of infant deaths, which include Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Wicomico Counties and Baltimore City. These jurisdictions accounted for 78% of infant deaths in Maryland from 2012 through 2016. Community Health Workers work with nurses to target care coordination and navigation services to high-risk neighborhoods to link at-risk pregnant women to essential services that have been associated with improved birth outcomes. This approach was informed by input from the BBH programs and by the understanding that pregnancy is an important and opportune time to engage women in their health and health care. 


Safe Sleep

    Local Initiatives


    Montgomery County
    Maternal/Infant Health

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