Impacts of Infant Mortality & Premature Birth
Many of our region’s greatest challenges can be linked to our high rate of infant deaths and preterm births – including poverty and economic prosperity.
Every baby’s death robs us of his or her potential contributions to our society. Each year, the number of babies St. Louis loses could have made up 15 kindergarten classrooms. Imagine all that potential lost!
And, each neighbor, family member of friend who loses a baby faces enormous emotional suffering.
These devastating social impacts of infant mortality are paired with financial strains on our community. We’ve long known that the medical costs of caring for a preterm infant are extremely high. Each year, premature births cost Missouri taxpayers $180 million in immediate and short-term costs. Imagine what our region could do with $180 million.
And, being born too early can cause health and development challenges for babies all throughout their lives. Premature babies may need additional services in school and are less likely to advance in their careers as adults.
“We know that, locally and globally, communities with strong infant health policies and practices are stronger and more successful from both a social and economic standpoint.” –Dr. Will Ross, Washington University School of Medicine