Labor of Love Summit works to reduce infant mortality

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 6, 2015)-- The Indiana State Health Department says reducing infant death is its top priority.

On Friday, more than 600 health care providers and stakeholders from across the state gathered in Indianapolis for the 3rd annual Labor of Love Summit that raises awareness on the number of children who die before their first birthday and on identifying ways to reduce health disparities that increase the risk of infant death.

For every 1,000 babies born in Indiana, more than seven will die before their first birthday.

Black and Hispanic babies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die before their first birthday.

Officials say Indiana has a health disparity problem that needs to be address because every Hoosier baby deserves a chance to thrive, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.

“To think that on an annual basis there are 600 families that experience the heartbreak of losing a newborn in the first year is just something that we’re deeply committed in Indiana to confronting,” said Governor Mike Pence.

Practicing early and regular prenatal care, safe sleeping for the child, avoiding tobacco drugs and alcohol before during and after pregnancy and breastfeeding are the four focuses the health department says can help reduce the infant mortality rate in Indiana.

The state invested $13 million in its last budget for programs that work to reduce infant mortality.

For more information on how you can help a little one make it to their first birthday, click here.