PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Over half of the counties in Mississippi do not have an OBGYN nor have a delivery hospital.
Infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births under the age of one. In 2018, Mississippi led the IMR at 9.07 percent.
Doctors Randy and Anita Henderson both work on the front line to make a difference in the lives of the little ones that come into our world.
Randy Henderson explains how many of the deaths come from prematurity.
“Causes of prematurity in our state are tough to address because we are talking about things like poverty, poor health and not many resources from those mothers to seek out when they need them,” said Randy Henderson.
Anita Henderson says if you’re expecting or thinking of having a baby, it’s best to have a plan.
Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you and your baby are healthy.
“Make your regular checkups so you can address those problems,” said Anita Henderson. “Talk to your OBGYN about what you’re watching for, what to look for when to call and, when in doubt, call your doctor.”
Once your baby is born, it’s important to remember the dos and don’ts.
Anita Henderson gives a breakdown of the “ABCs” for safe sleep after taking your baby home, which can help keep incidents from occurring.
“‘A’ means that baby should always sleep alone. Number two, that baby should sleep on its back. We know that sleeping on the back cuts the rate of Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDs) in half. And number three, babies need to sleep in their own crib,” said Anita Henderson.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for the baby, says Anita. She advises taking a multi-vitamin that has 400 micrograms of folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects, including ones that involve the brain and spinal cord.
Anita adds that pregnant mothers should stay away from smoking and vaping. Doing these can put the baby at harm.