Tennessee’s Infant Deaths Can Be Prevented

From API’s Publications Team


Attachment Parenting International Co-founder Barbara Nicholson was quoted in a Public News Service (PNS) article about Tennessee’s high infant mortality rate.

According to PNS, 9 of every 1,000 babies born in Tennessee die during their first year of life, with the rate for African Americans rivaling the infant mortality in some third-world countries. Memphis, Tenn., has the highest numbers in the state, with a child dying every 43 hours. Health officials say the leading cause of Tennessee’s infant mortality rate is premature birth.

Nicholson said that many premature infant deaths can be prevented through the use of low-cost services such as Centering Pregnancy, which teaches pregnant women to self-monitor their blood pressure and weight.

“This is group care of pregnant moms in the care of a midwife and this
results in a 41 percent reduction in infant mortality in the
African-American community,” Nicholson said.

There are five Centering Pregnancy programs in Tennessee – four in Memphis and one in Madisonville – with more sites planned for Nashville and Chattanooga. Centering Pregnancy is funded through the State of Tennessee; Gov. Phil Bredsen has pledged $6 million toward programs such as Centering Pregnancy.

“If we put money into prevention, it’s going to save us millions,” Nicholson said. “When we have better outcomes, prevention is always the cheapest and safest alternative.”

One thought on “Tennessee’s Infant Deaths Can Be Prevented”

  1. nothing seemed tainhtenreg to the pregnancy. It scared me alittle but i talked it over with my mom and she helped reasure me that everything was probably fine. (that happened on a thurs) But Sunday morning i noticed alittle bleeding so we went to the emergency room and they monitered me for several hours but they said i wasnt contracting and everything seemed fine so they sent me home on bedrest and set up an appointment the next day at the high risk clinic. I was having really back pain sunday night and i was still bleeding. When they checked me Monday morning at my appointment, I was 1 centimeter dialated. My mom and mother-in-law were with me and when i told them that i couldnt hold my fear in anymore and i started crying, i couldnt believe this was happening. The doctor rushed me back to Labor & Delivery and they started monitering me for contractions. Alan(my husband) arrived soon after that. I remember him asking me if i was scared, and i started crying and said yes. I was scared to death of losing my baby. I was having light contractions and was dialating even more. They gave me medicine to try to stop contractions and laid me flat on my back with the head of the bed tilted down to take away as much pressure as possible but nothing seemed to be working. I kept trying to believe that God would somehow stop my contractions and that my baby was gonna be ok. I kept asking throughout the day if i was still having regular contractions and at one point it seemed to be slowing down and i started getting more hopeful but the doc came and checked me again and i was almost 5 centimeters dialated and soon after that my water broke. At that point i knew there was no stopping this and all i could do was cry. We were going to lose our baby. I asked for an epidural but by the time they got to my room it was to late. I had to start pushing . Everything inside me was screaming NOOOOO .. you cant do this, its not time, my baby’s to small. The doctor had told me earlier that it was possible my baby would be born alive but there was nothing they could do to help the baby and that he/she would die. I didnt wanna push, I wanted to cry or scream or yell or do something, anything to make this bad dream go away, but it didnt. At 5:01 pm (only 22weeks) our precious little boy,Cody Alan, was stillborn. He was 1lb 9oz and 12.5 inches long. He looked so perfect, his toes and fingers were long just like his mommy and daddy and He looked like his Daddy.They let us hold him for as long as we needed to afterwards. By this time all my family and all of Alan’s family were there with us. There wasnt a single dry eye in the room. Everyone took turns holding him and we got lots of pictures. After probly close to 4 hours i had to go have a D&C done and i couldnt take Cody with me so we said our goodbyes and i gave him to my mom. Leaving that room knowing that when i came back my son would be gone was the hardest thing i have ever had to do in my entire life. It felt like a piece of me had just been ripped out. I cried the whole way back to the OR. When i got back to the room more family and friends had arrived to see us but i dont really remember much about it, i was in a haze, i didnt wanna do anything, not even talk, i just wanted to hold tight to my husband and cry. They released us the next day and we went back to my parents place for the night. I wasnt ready to face going home and seeing my nursury we had just finished acouple days before this nightmare began. We decided to go home the next afternoon and we both cried so hard when we went in the nursury. All our dreams had just been crushed, everything we had been planning for in our lives had suddenly been changed. Thursday of that week we had a small burial service for Cody. That eve we had a visitation time so more extended family and friends could stop by. We dont know why God allowed this to happen, the doctors dont know why i suddenly went into labor but we are choosing to trust that God is going to use this nightmare from his glory and He is going to make us stronger ppl because of it. Thankyou for allowing me to share my story and tell you about my son. I never got to know him but I love him with all my heart and i cant wait till the day i can go to heaven and hold him again.

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