The Problem

Delaware’s infant mortality rate is among the highest in the nation. There is a significant disparity in infant deaths. African-American infants are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday than Caucasian infants.

The Causes

Babies born too soon and too small are the main causes of Delaware’s infant mortality rate. Birth defects, maternal complications and co-sleeping also contribute to infant deaths.

The Solution

The solution is for women to be in optimal health before pregnancy. Women who wait until pregnancy to stop smoking, manage chronic disease or reduce stress are simply too late. Helping women be healthy and change behaviors is only one part of the solution. We must intervene on many levels:

  • Society and public policy
  • The community and neighborhood environment
  • Health care and social service providers
  • Racism and discrimination
  • The power within women themselves
  • Structural racism, cultural bias, and discrimination