B'more for Healthy Babies
Maternal and Child Health, Baltimore City Health Department
1001 E. Fayette Street
Every baby counts…on you
Baltimore babies die at a rate that is among the worst in America. In 2010 alone, 98 infants under the age of one died, many of these deaths preventable. The city also has an extremely high rate of babies born pre-term and underweight – key factors in infant mortality.
In response to this public health crisis, leaders from the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors have come together to launch an innovative initiative to prevent infant deaths and promote family health. Known as B’more for Healthy Babies (BHB), the initiative is built on the realization that reducing infant deaths will happen only if people throughout the community play a part – whether leaders of key city agencies; physicians, nurses and social workers; community groups and teachers; or family members and pregnant women themselves.
Working on all levels to improve health at each stage of life
B’more for Healthy Babies is a long-term initiative designed to work in four interrelated ways:
- Policy/Systems – The BHB steering committee brings together leaders from key city agencies and institutions to ensure that policies and referral systems are in place to reduce infant mortality.
- Services – BHB equips physicians, nurses, social workers and other service providers to educate and guide pregnant women and their families to prevent poor birth outcomes.
- Community – Nonprofit groups in Patterson Park North and East and Upton/Druid Heights work to increase community involvement and collaboration at all levels of service delivery. They work hand-in-hand with faith-based groups, businesses, schools, and many other community agencies.
- Family and Individuals – At-risk women and families benefit from enhanced services and adopt new health behaviors that improve birth outcomes. The Baby Basics program – a prenatal education program – offers pregnant women the chance to connect with each other during regularly scheduled Mom’s Clubs.
The BHB Initiative is sponsored by the Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the Baltimore City Health Department, and the Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. Generous funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has provided the catalyst for implementation and emphasized improving birth outcomes as a major health priority for Baltimore City.