6th Annual Strong Baby Sabbath Held To Raise Awareness About Infant Death
MILWAUKEE - Today, Mayor Tom Barrett and Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker held Milwaukee's 6th annual Strong Baby Sabbath. They visited local churches to share a message of support. Their goal was to raise awareness of the top two preventable causes of infant death in Milwaukee - premature birth and unsafe sleeping environments.
At today's event, the mayor shared that the city has made dramatic improvements in reducing the teen pregnancy rate in the last decade in the city of Milwaukee. He also stated that the infant mortality rate has been reduced by 17%.
The mayor stated that there is still more work to be done and that the infant mortality rate in the African American community is approximately 3 times higher
than it is in the white community. He also said that some areas of the city have an infant mortality rate akin to what is seen in third world countries.
Mayor Tom Barrett mentioned that a way to reduce infant mortality is to partner with the faith community. This year they've had 24 churches involved compared to 10 churches last year. The mayor believes that by creating a safe baby sanctuary, expectant mothers or new mothers can receive the help they need.
The Strong Baby Sabbath is planned cooperatively by Ascension-Columbia St. Mary's Urban Church Wellness Program, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, The March of Dimes Wisconsin Chapter, and the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families.