Perinatal and Infant Health

Short- and long-term health risks continue to exist for mothers and their babies before, during, and after birth.

We promote and provide essential programs and services to increase access to quality care and ultimately reduce illness and death.

Nearly 100% of babies born in the U.S. (about 4 million/year) are screened for serious condition at birth.

What are our goals?

Ensure that higher risk mothers and newborns deliver at hospitals that are able to provide proper care.

  • Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) infants are the most fragile newborns. But when born in a facility with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), their chances to survive and thrive improve greatly.

Increase the number of infants who are breastfed and those who are exclusively breastfed through six months.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all infants exclusively breastfeed for about six months. Human milk supports optimal growth and development. Mothers also benefit, as breastfeeding may lessen the likelihood of developing certain cancers and other health risks.

Increase the number of infants placed to sleep on their backs.

  • The AAP recommends use of the back-sleep position on a separate firm sleep surface and without loose bedding.

Increase the number of children who receive a developmental screening.

  • Early identification of developmental disorders is critical to the well-being of children and their families.

Increase the number of children who are adequately insured.

  • Inadequately insured children are more likely to lack appropriate and timely care, be without a medical home, and be less likely to receive needed referrals and receive family-centered care.

How do we accomplish our goals?

We accomplish our goals through the following programs and initiatives:

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2020