Infant mortality is an issue that impacts all of us. Here are five reasons why you should help in this fight:

  1. The lives we lose are irreplaceable.

In Hamilton County 508 of our babies died before their first birthday from 2011-2015. That’s 508 kids who won’t ever see a birthday, won’t ever start school, won’t grow up to live in our neighborhoods, work for our businesses or add to the fabric of our community. Every one of these lives matters.

  1. The impact can go on for decades.

Preterm birth is the leading cause of local infant death. When a child is born preterm, their performance in school and even their future ability to work may be affected due to developmental delays.  If we want to raise graduation rates and lower the rates of poverty and unemployment, we must start by making sure our infants are born on time.

  1. We must improve equity nationally and locally.

African American babies are 2.5 times more likely to be born preterm and to die before their first birthday than white babies. Disparity remains even when controlling for parents’ socioeconomic status. If we want to live in an equitable community, we have to ensure that all Cincinnatians get an equal start to life.

  1. Infant mortality doesn’t just speak to the health of babies; it speaks to the health of our community.

Cincinnati is a wonderful city to call home, but it is also one with big challenges. Our high infant mortality rate is a “canary in the coalmine” telling us about the education, income and health of our whole community.

  1. This problem is expensive and the cost affects us all.

In Hamilton County the total annual cost of preterm birth is $402 million dollars.  Extending pregnancy by just one week for each preterm birth in our community would reduce medical costs by over $25 million annually. Read more about the cost of preterm birth here.

The good news is that, through Cradle Cincinnati, dozens of partners have come together to solve this crisis and are starting to see real change. Read more about Cradle Cincinnati and infant mortality in our annual report. Or like us on Facebook to follow our community’s shared progress.