Fetal & Infant Mortality
About Fetal & Infant Mortality
Infant death can occur for a variety of reasons. The Cincinnati Health Department's Fetal & Infant Mortality Team is committed to reducing the number of infant deaths through outreach and education.
Causes and risk factors include:
- Premature birth
- Congenital abnormalities (birth defects)
- SIDS/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death
- Smoking, drinking alcohol or using illicit drug use during pregnancy
- Infant death can occur suddenly and unexpectedly, often during sleep. To keep your baby safe, follow these precautions:
- Put your baby to sleep on his/her back in the room where you sleep, in a crib or bassinet near your bed.
- Babies should not be put to sleep on the tummy or side.
- Place your baby on a firm surface.
- Use a safety-approved crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet. No soft mattresses, quilts, futons, waterbeds, beanbags or pillows.
- Keep soft objects, toys, and loose blankets out of your baby's sleep area. Avoid pillows, blankets, and soft crib bumpers.
- No smoking around baby: Do not smoke before or after the birth of your baby, and do not let others smoke around your baby.
- Don't lie down with your baby on a sofa, armchair or recliner. Babies can become trapped in the sides or cushions.
- Your baby should not sleep with other adults, children or animals.
- Don't let your baby get too hot. Dress your baby in light sleep clothes.
- If your baby is very fussy at sleep time despite being fed, soothe your baby by offering a pacifier or rocking him/her. Ask your pediatrician for other ideas.
- If you bring your baby to bed in order to breastfeed, make sure you are in a position that will allow you to stay awake and alert. Take time to make a safe environment. Position your baby to protect him or her from moving under the covers or into a pillow while in your bed. Make sure baby cannot fall out of the bed or become wedged between the mattress and a wall. When finished breastfeeding and your baby is ready to sleep, put your baby on his/her back in the crib or bassinet.
- Do not bring your baby in bed to breastfeed if you or your partner is overly tired, have used alcohol or medications that make you sleepy.
Grief & Bereavement
The loss of an infant either during pregnancy or after is something that no family should have to face. Unfortunately, many families face this reality each year. Every individual deals with grief differently.
For those who would like the support of others who have experienced a similar loss, we are fortunate to have several support options:
- Grieve Out Loud
- Healing Hearts
- First Candle
- Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
- Center for Loss in Multiple Birth
- The MISS Foundation
- Pregnancy Loss & Infant Death Alliance
- Bereavement Services