Infant Mortality

Hope Is Not Enough

Infant mortality is the death of a baby before his or her first birthday. The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths that occur for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a community, because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the mortality rates of infants. There are significant differences in infant mortality by race and ethnicity, for example, black infants are more than twice as likely to die as white infants.

Watch this video to see the impact infant mortality has on our Missouri communities. Video by Pamela Xaverius, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, St. Louis University.


The top five causes of infant mortality include:

What Can Be Done?

Become healthy before pregnancy

Pregnancy outcomes are influenced by a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. Preconception health focuses on actions women can take before and between pregnancies to increase their chances of having a healthy baby. Important steps women can take to improve their preconception health include: