SEMINOLE COUNTY'S INFANT MORTALITY RATE HITS AN ALL TIME LOW
SANFORD - Seminole County’s infant mortality rate has been cut in half in the past year and has dropped more than 20% since 1990. Seminole County’s Black Infant Mortality rate also dropped by more than 50% in 2011; from 15 deaths in 2010 to 7 deaths in 2011 for an all-time low. The Seminole County Health Department’s Prenatal Clinic and programs such as Healthy Start and WIC (Women, Infants and Children), which focus on positive birth outcomes, as well as community engagement have contributed to reducing the death rate for preterm and low birth weights from 8 deaths in 2010 to 4 deaths in 2011. For all births, Seminole County’s Infant Mortality rate in 2011 was 6.3 per 1,000 live births, falling below the state rate of 6.4 per 1,000 live births.
“SCHD activities and partnerships are designed to improve the health of our community, ” said Michael Napier, Administrator of the Seminole County Health Department. “We all should be proud of this evidence that it is working.”
Infant mortality is influenced by many factors, including the mother's health and socioeconomic status before, during, and after pregnancy. The use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs during pregnancy, as well as access to and quality of health care services, contribute to increased risk of infant mortality.
Seminole County’s Healthy Start program reaches 85% of prenatal clients and 31% of infant clients in the county. Also, in June 2012, the WIC program demonstrated an increase of pregnant women entering into WIC services in their 1st trimester of 67.65% compared to 51.65% in 2007. In 2012, the WIC Breastfeeding Peer counseling program demonstrated a 5.2% increase among Black women who maintained breastfeeding for 26 weeks; and overall they more than doubled the number of women exclusively breastfeeding.
The Seminole County Prenatal Program offers non-stress tests, vitamins and folic acid, sonograms, laboratory tests, and prenatal and nutrition education. The Seminole County Family Planning program focuses on pre-conceptual and inter-conceptual health, including patient’s readiness for pregnancy, spacing between pregnancies, preventing an unwanted pregnancy, and optimal overall health.