• By Ashton Putnam
  • Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Infant Mortality Month will kick-off local awareness campaign

The Forsyth County Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition, as part of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, is encouraging people to recognize September as National Infant Mortality Awareness Month. September kicks off a three-month social media campaign, which includes October as SIDS Awareness Month and November as Prematurity Awareness Month.

Beginning in September, The Coalition will sponsor a three-month social media campaign to promote awareness about infant mortality. The campaign will be conducted on the Forsyth County Department of Public Health’s pages on Facebook,, Instagram and Twitter with posts several times a week. The Coalition is focusing on virtual outreach since the COVID-19 pandemic prevents it from holding in-person events like it's regular Walk a Mile to Save Our Babies walk and luncheon. Additionally, Infant Mortality Awareness cloth face coverings will be worn by Coalition members, friends and partners who will be distributing educational materials to the community.

The Coalition wants to ensure that every woman has a healthy pregnancy, learns about safe sleep for her baby, gets early prenatal care and support services, and makes choices that promote healthy lifestyles for a lifetime.

The leading causes of infant deaths in Forsyth County are prematurity, low birth weight, unsafe sleep/co-sleeping and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Infant mortality rates swing up or down from year to year; however, Forsyth County has a persistently high infant mortality rate overall, as well as inequity in birth outcomes.

“Infant mortality is a complex issue associated with a variety of factors such as income, housing, education, employment, social support, cultural barriers and access and quality of prenatal care,” said Joshua Swift, Forsyth County Public Health Director.

The Public Health Department has numerous programs devoted to improving pregnancy outcomes. This includes education opportunities such as Prenatal Parenting, Childbirth and Baby Safety classes as well as preconception health and family planning counseling. Additionally, there are many home visitation programs for pregnant and postpartum mothers like Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Start Triad Baby Love Plus, Nurse-Family Partnership and Care Management for High Risk Pregnancies.

The Forsyth County Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition, which is comprised of knowledgeable members in maternal, infant and child health as well as other local partners, is committed to addressing priority areas to move the community towards the changes needed for all babies born in Forsyth County to be healthy and thrive.

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