"It keeps me up at night, it makes me work harder" Community Leaders work to prevent infant deaths
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner is currently investigating the death of two infants. According to the Medical Examiner, the two deaths are due to unsafe sleep environments.
On Monday, Mayor Tom Barrett, heath officials and faith leaders met to discuss ways to prevent infant deaths. Barrett called for faith communities to stand behind the Strong Baby Initiative.
So far, 23 churches are listed as baby sanctuaries to provide resources and support for pregnant women.
"This is a real issue and this is something we take very very seriously and we'd like to see that number zero," said Barrett.
Within the last three days, there have been two infant deaths. The first infant death happened at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning in the 6500 block of N. 54th Street. According to the Medical Examiner, the 22-day-old infant was sleeping with the father.
The second reported infant death happened Tuesday morning, shortly after 1 a.m.According to the Medical Examiner, a 1-month-old male was co-sleeping with three older siblings in a pull-out couch bed.
It happened in the 2700 block of N. 12th Street. The child was found not breathing and later pronounced dead. Both of the deaths are unrelated.
"It saddens me. It keeps me up at night, it makes me work harder and the people you see here today that's how they feel too," said Julia Means, Parish Nurse.
Means said during their work they've assisted 500 families and of that number none lost a baby.
"Churches can really play a critical role in helping us with this area and so we are trying to enlist more churches to provide that cocoon for women and their families once they are at that child baring age and are actively raising kids," said Barrett.
Below is a list of Strong Baby Sanctuaries:
Ascension Fellowship Church
Bethel Temple Church of God in Christ
Bradford Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church
Calvary Baptist Church
Canaan Baptist Church
Capuchin Community Services - House of Peace
Christ Mission Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
East Side Catholic Churches - St. Hedwig Church
Ebenezer Church of God in Christ
For Him International Ministries
God's Hands Outreach Ministry
Greater Bethlehem Temple World Ministries
Hephatha Lutheran Church
Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ
House of Mercy Evangelistic Ministries
Lamb of God Missionary Baptist Church
Reformation Lutheran Church
Silver Spring Neighborhood Center
St. Matthew Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
True Love Missionary Baptist Church
Unity Gospel House of Prayer Apostolic Church
Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Village Ministry Inc.