Dead babies aren’t something anybody likes to talk about. But while it may be an uncomfortable topic, it’s also an important one — because there are things we can do to make it happen less frequently. The loss of an infant is something parents never really get over, and something that no parent should have to experience. Here’s a look at the most common causes of infant mortality and some things you can do to reduce your baby’s risk. (Warning: This is about to get real, and maybe a bit uncomfortable. But stick with me; it’s important.)
Babies die — a lot of them. And no matter how hard we try, babies are still going to die. The only way to have a society with no infant mortality is to stop having babies. If you think that’s a sustainable plan, talk to a Shaker (if you can find one).
The infant mortality rate (IMR) in the United States in 2014 was 6.17 per 1,000 live births — this number does not include miscarriages or stillbirths. More simply stated, just over 6 out of every 1,000 babies in the US die before their first birthday (which comes out to about 25,000 babies per year). That sounds horrible, and it is, compared to many other developed nations. But it’s a heck of a lot better than Afghanistan, which has the world’s highest IMR at 117 out of every 1,000 children. (Yes, almost 12 percent.)Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.