Generate Maternal and Infant Initiative
Making St. Louis a Place Where Babies Thrive
St. Louis is home to some of the best medical care in the country. Yet, too many babies in St. Louis are dying or born too small or too soon. In fact, infant death rates in parts of St. Louis City and County are worse than some developing countries.
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 or friend who loses a baby faces enormous emotional suffering.
Babies who are born preterm also may face a long journey that has a costly emotional and financial toll. Being born too early can cause long-term health and development challenges, impacting their ability to develop to their full potential. In addition to these social impacts, St. Louis’ high level of preterm births costs our region $180 million a year in immediate and short-term costs.
For babies to be born healthier, women need to attain health before, during and between pregnancy.
Generate Health is bringing our community together in new ways to support the health and wellbeing of our moms and babies.
Our work in this area includes:
FLOURISH St. Louis – powered by Generate Health. In our region, there is great work being done by many organizations to support families in having healthy pregnancies and births. But, infant mortality is a complex issue – one that no single organization can solve on its own. That’s why FLOURISH St. Louis was formed – to work in a new way to achieve large-scale, lasting improvements in the health and well-being of our babies and families. We are bringing together parents and leaders from the health, business, education and faith communities to develop new paths to speed up positive changes in infant health.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY – EARLY ACCESS TO PRENATAL CARE
Our Prenatal and Infant Wellness Committee of service providers and community leaders is constantly exploring new ways to engage families to increase use of early and regular prenatal care, ranging from training community champions to connect women in their neighborhoods with care.
RESULTS SNAPSHOT: We brought together parents, schools, churches and service providers in St. Louis’ 27th Ward to train community champions who reach out to pregnant women by hosting events to educate and connect them to prenatal care.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY – HEALTH OF WOMEN BEFORE AND BETWEEN PREGNANCY
Research indicates that a mother’s health before, during and after pregnancy can be an indicator of her child’s health following birth. All of our initiatives bring together the community to work on how to keep mothers healthier during their life course, so that babies in our community are born healthier themselves.
UNDERSTANDING THE REGION’S NEEDS
We started the first program in Missouri, Fetal Infant Mortality Review, to combine medical data with interviews of families who experienced the loss of a baby. This gives us a full picture of the health, social, economic and safety issues that may have contributed to a baby’s death. The results and recommendations coming out of these reviews help service providers and regional planners better focus, align and plan their work related to infant health.
Reports and Resources
- Women’s Health Before and Between Pregnancy: A Needs Assessment of Preconception Health in St. Louis and Recommendations for Community Action
- Fetal Infant Mortality Review 2007 Annual Report
- Fetal Infant Mortality Review 2007 Infant Mortality Surveillance Report
- FLOURISH St. Louis – Learnings from the 2015 Community Listening Sessions
- Investing in Healthy Mothers & Babies: Lessons Learned and New Directions
- Distress and Hope: A Collection of Words and Images by St. Louis Healthy Start Participants