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Campaign for healthy babies: Reducing premature births and infant deaths

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- Babies need a healthy start and a new campaign to help expectant mothers is launching in Avondale.

"Start Strong" is a partnership between health care providers to fight infant mortality and premature births. Doctors came out to the neighborhood to meet with women and build relationships.  It's all about making sure that mothers are doing what they can to have healthy, full-term babies.

A healthy baby like Jane starts with a healthy pregnancy.  Jane was full term and two days over.  Health care workers say unfortunately out of the 11,000 babies born in Hamilton County, more than 10-percent are born premature.

"Babies that are born particularly early, at 25 weeks gestation or 28 weeks gestation, face the risk of death.  They face the risk of brain damage of  heart and lung problems," Dr. Robert Kahn, a pediatrician, said.
Tuesday evening doctors left their offices and spent the evening with women in Avondale.  They're targeting the neighborhood to better connect mothers with the care they need, saying sometimes pregnant patients don't always follow the medical advice they get in offices and clinics.
Doctors want to meet them in their own neighborhoods to build relationships.  Tuesday night was about coming into the community and meeting the women where they live, where they spend their time and learning from them; really trying to focus on ending infant mortality addressing preterm births.
The effort is called "Start Strong".  Not only is it geared toward helping babies but also avoiding the unnecessary costs associated with treating preventable infant illnesses.

"There's a lot of health issues and things that go on with you as a person and then to become pregnant and another life you have to support, it's important," one community member said.
Organizers say  connecting mothers to the resources they need should be a community effort.  The tag line says it all!  A healthy community starts with a healthy mom.

Follow Angela Ingram on Twitter @newslaw1 and LIKE her on Facebook

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