In Missouri, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely. About two-thirds of infant deaths happen with babies who are born preterm.
The Missouri Legislature's Task Force on Premature Births and Infant Mortality says it has recommendations that may reduce infant deaths and premature births in the state.
These recommendations are:
1. Establish a Statewide Perinatal Care Collaborative
2. Establish a Maternal/Child Health Home Program
3. Establish a Repository to House All Maternal/Child Health Information and Resources
4. Integrate the Entities Providing Care Across the Perinatal Spectrum
5. Present the Importance of Regionalized Perinatal Care
6. Implement Evidence-Based Interventions
7. Establish a Commission to Oversee Coordination and Implementation of Task Force Recommendations
Task Force members say the key to making this program successful will be properly supporting mothers.
"Help her be as healthy as possible before pregnancy. Take care of her during the pregnancy and transitioned her to her primary care provider following the pregnancy," said Susan Kendig, of the Task Force.