Combatting Maternal and Infant Mortality in the 21st Century

Adopted at the 83rd Annual Meeting in 2015

  • WHEREAS, women's and infant's health have been historically neglected and under-studied and under-funded in the U.S.; and

    WHEREAS, at the same time spending on healthcare and wellness in the U.S is $3 Trillion, the size of France's economy; and

    WHEREAS, approximately 4 million women in the U.S. give birth each year; and

    WHEREAS, there are 18.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the U.S. in 2013, up from 12 deaths in 1995, a 54% increase over an 18-year period. and, of these deaths Black women are more than three times more likely to die due to pregnancy/childbirth than are white women; and

    WHEREAS, a woman giving birth in the U.S. is now more likely to die than a woman giving birth in China and while there has been a decrease in maternal mortality rates worldwide, the U.S. is bucking that trend as the only developed nation among them where mortality rates are rising (other countries include Afghanistan, Greece, and several countries in Africa and Central America); and

    WHEREAS, the U.S infant mortality rate ranks 55th in the world (6 deaths per 1,000 live births) and as a result a baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan, and that same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean infant; and

    WHEREAS, a baby born in Cuba or Belarus is more likely to blowout her first birthday candle than a baby born in the U.S; and

    WHEREAS, the U.S. infant mortality rate of 12 infant deaths per 100,000 live births masks considerable state-level variations. of the 50 states 29 have a rate of 10 or more deaths per 100,000 live births with states like Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, New York and Maryland ranking in the lowest tier with over 18 deaths per 100,000, and

    WHEREAS, there is no variation in infant mortality during the first week of life between the U.S. and top performing countries however once the baby is taken home the mortality rate rises through the first year of life; and

    WHEREAS, higher infant mortality rates are primarily found in lower socio-economic classes in the U.S., babies born to underprivileged mothers are more likely to die than babies of wealthier mothers. Babies born to underprivileged mothers in other rich and developed nations do not see the same dramatic rise in mortality rates that we do as this is a U.S. phenomenon caused by inequity in the availability and access of quality healthcare between economic classes and minority groups; and

    WHEREAS, the single largest determinant of lifelong health is the gestation period through the first year and a half of life, yet science and diagnostics are not adequately addressing this life stage and the results are higher mortality rates and poor healthcare outcomes that last a lifetime; and

    WHEREAS, medical information is presented in a confusing and intimidating way and often is not easily accessible by lower socio-economic classes; and

    WHEREAS, if medical information and tips were made accessible to parents across all socio economic demographics in an easily understandable and applicable way, the numbers of maternal and infant mortality would dramatically decline; and

    WHEREAS, by using daily medical inputs through technology to educate, inform and teach, the mother or mother-to-be can make better healthcare decisions for herself and her baby and therefore improve outcomes that result in less economic and human capital cost in our cities; and

    WHEREAS by integrating medical research from hospitals and organizations with leading technologies and innovations companies like Square Roots can innovate the maternal health experience with innovative care solutions and mobile applications so our cities could drastically improve health outcomes in women and infants; and

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors encourages all areas of the healthcare delivery system from the federal and state government to city hospitals to private doctors to non-profit organizations make a priority of providing parents and mothers-to-be evidence-based maternal and infant health information and care solutions in an accessible and comprehensible manner that reaches across all demographics and further engages a discussion as to the betterment of maternal health standards, so that city residents can make informed health decisions faster and earlier for better health outcomes; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the United States Conference of Mayors encourages Mayors and the healthcare system and Technology and Wellness Service Sectors to collaborate on ways to improve health outcomes and lives of infants and mothers. --

    Projected Cost: Unknown

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