New Initiative Strives for Better Birth Outcomes in Baltimore County

Pregnant WomanBaltimore County has revamped its Babies Born Healthy Program to target high-risk pregnant women in low-income and minority communities.

Special attention will be paid to parts of the county, such as Cockeysville and Owings Mills, where women have high rates of health issues like hypertension, obesity, and smoking, as well as a lack of local resources for pregnant women.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

The infant mortality rate in the county was 6.5 per 1,000 births in 2017 according to state statistics, higher than the previous year which saw a mortality rate of 5.9 per 1,000 births. Though the rate has declined slightly since 2008, Baltimore County maintains the second-highest infant mortality rate in the Baltimore metropolitan area, second only to Baltimore City, which has a mortality rate of 8.7 per 1,000 births.

The initiative includes home visits from community health workers and nurses to overcome transportation barriers and to enable assessment of the home environment. It also includes care coordination and navigation services to facilitate comprehensive care throughout the mother’s pregnancy.  It is fully funded by the state at $200,000 per year for three years.

For more information read The Baltimore Sun.