Reducing Infant Deaths

Reducing Infant Deaths

Every week in Ohio, 3 babies die due to unsafe sleep environments.

As the only place where babies are born in Erie County, Firelands is taking steps to reduce the risk of infant mortality. Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before his or her first birthday.

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Infant Mortality

Access to Prenatal Care

Babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are three times more likely to be born at low birth weight, and five times more likely to die, than those whose mothers received prenatal care.

Firelands Physician Group Women's Clinic is designed to ensure that all pregnant women, including those who are low-income, uninsured or underinsured, have access to prenatal care to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of their pregnancy. CareSource as well as other managed care insurances, including self-pay are accepted.

Click here to learn more about Firelands Physician Group Women's Clinic.

Reduce the Number of Preterm Babies (before 37 weeks)

Preterm birth is the second most-common cause of infant mortality in the United States. And although there is currently no definitive way to prevent preterm birth, there are ways to reduce this risk, including:

  • Eliminating substance use during pregnancy.
    Babies of mothers who use tobacco, alcohol and drugs have a higher chance of being born prematurely and developing physical and mental disabilities.

    Firelands offers smoking cessation courses throughout the year to help smokers gain control over their behavior. Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services also offers
    mental health and alcohol and other drug treatment services to help individuals transition through a time of crisis to a place of healing and recovery.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy.
    Babies born to women who are overweight or obese are more likely to be delivered prematurely.

    Firelands holds a free Nutrition/Weight Management Support Group on a weekly basis, and offers a six-week Weight Management Program focused on weight management through lifestyle change.

Click here to learn more about Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services.
Click here to view our calendar of events for upcoming classes.

Increase the Number of Breastfeeding Mothers

Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and provides important protection against infection and disease in babies. Breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. It is recommended that all babies be breastfed the first six months of their life.

Efforts made by Firelands Center for Women & Newborns to support breastfeeding moms include:

  • On-site, certified lactation consultants to assist mothers with all aspects of the breastfeeding process. Consultants will visit new moms during their hospital stay and are available both pre and postnatally.
  • A free Breastfeeding Clinic to assist breastfeeding mothers with answering breastfeeding questions or concerns and to offer breastfeeding support. Certified lactation consultants are available to address any breastfeeding challenges or questions that arise and to weigh infants.

  • A low-cost Breastfeeding Basics course designed to teach new parents the benefits of breastfeeding and how to successfully breastfeed their baby.

  • An individual or small group Breastfeeding and Return-to-Work class which offers helpful tips and information to help make your transition back to working outside the home as smooth as possible.

Click here to learn more about Firelands Center for Women & Newborns.

Create a Safe Sleep Environment

Most unexpected infant deaths result from unsafe sleeping environments. These accidents often happen due to suffocation from soft bedding or overlay (another person rolling on top of or against the infant while sleeping).

How can you make a safe sleep environment?

  • Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back.
  • Never co-sleep with your baby.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Keep soft objects- pillows, toys and blankets- out of your baby's sleep area.
  • Dress your baby in a one-piece sleeper or a wearable blanket.

Firelands now offers Baby Boxes and educational materials to all newborns and their families who deliver at Firelands.

Baby Boxes provide infants with a safe place to sleep. The Baby Boxes include:

  • A firm mattress
  • Two waterproof mattress liners
  • Two natural, organic, soft and allergy-free sheets
  • A newborn t-shirt with the words "This side up while sleeping" on the front
  • A children's board book titled "Sleep, Baby, Safe and Snug" which offers easy-to-understand tips on safe sleeping
  • A "Baby Box University" card granting free access to Baby Box University, an educational program about pregnancy and parenting
  • A comprehensive resource guide offering quick referrals to local resources providing social and medical services to families
Click here to download and print your free resource guide.


Regular Well-Child Visits with Pediatrician

Well-child visits focus on developmental milestones, nutrition, safety, and your baby and family's emotional well-being. Several well-child visits should happen during the baby's first year.

Firelands Physician Group Pediatric Clinic provides well-child visits from infancy through childhood and into adulthood. The clinic also offers sick child visits and can evaluate simple and complex pediatric diseases as well as manage chronic conditions such as asthma.

To learn more about Firelands Physician Group Pediatric Clinic, call 419.557.6763.

Access to Pediatric Therapy

Pediatric therapy programs treat a wide variety of pediatric issues that affect growth and development. This may include feeding and swallowing issues in infants, developmental delays, neuromuscular disorders, learning disabilities and/or behavioral problems.

Firelands Children's S,P.O.T. offers physical, occupational and speech therapy designed to treat children from birth through adolescent age. Therapists focus on functional assessment and intervention as well as education of parents and caregivers related to health, wellness, development and safety of child.

Click here to learn more about Firelands Children's S.P.O.T.