Dr. Sandy Chung, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, called the rise in infant deaths “disturbing and disappointing.” Despite spending more on health care than any other high-income country, the United States has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate.
“We live in a country with abundant resources. Yet the infant mortality rate in the United States is shockingly high. There are many different reasons for this,” Chung said in a statement. “We do know that families in poverty face many challenges including access to nutritious food and affordable health care. Racial and ethnic disparities related to accessible health care — including prenatal health services — are just one of the many possible reasons for lower birth weights of babies and sometimes, infant deaths.”
Resources for Black Families
- Black Love: A docu-series with six seasons of love stories on Black couples. The film project features interviews with a husband and wife who search for healing after the loss of an infant. Watch the original episode on Oprah.com and the after-show on YouTube.
- Black Moms in Loss Support Group: A free virtual support group for Black mothers grieving the loss of a pregnancy or infant. The group meets on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST and is a partnership of Sisters in Loss and Postpartum Support International. Sign-up here.
- The Mourning After: A Black Infant Mortality Anthology: A new book by Black maternal advocacy non-profit Zeal of Xander, Inc. that highlights the experiences of Black women who have lost their children to miscarriage, preterm labor, terminal medical diagnosis, and stillbirth. The anthology features essays from providers and aims to raise awareness about the Black infant mortality crisis.
- Sisters in Loss Podcast: A podcast dedicated to “replacing silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility of Black women.” Founded by Erica M. Freeman, a grief specialist who experienced a stillbirth and a miscarriage, the episodes cover contributing factors for infant loss, healing and overcoming grief, finding refuge in spirituality and community, and more. Listen here.