In recent years, North Carolina’s infant mortality rate has plateaued and now ranks higher than that of the United States’.
Despite the initial decrease at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the past five years the infant mortality rate has flattened. This decline comes from the lack of proper healthcare for women in NC, according to a report by WUNC. Without adequate health care, that is both easily accessible available to women across the state, it is more likely for a baby to be born prematurely.
In the United States, NC has the ninth highest infant mortality rate. In order for NC’s infant mortality rate to go down, the state will need to provide better healthcare for women. When poverty rates rise, infant mortality rates rise with it.
Out of 1,000 babies in NC, more than seven of them will die within a year. For African American babies, that number jumps to over twelve, close to doubling the rate. In only one year, Latino babies mortality rate went from 3.7 to 6.3 per 1,000.
Half of the women without health insurance manage to get affordable prenatal care, making the other half struggle through their pregnancies and risk birth defects, premature birth, and death.
To people who live in suburban areas, this issue is not as prevalent. Places near a hospital that offers good health care do not realize that this is a problem in NC because it is not directly affecting them.
Without proper health care for pregnant women, it is predicted that babies will continue to be born unhealthy. NC’s infant mortality rate is the ninth highest in the United States, and if women do not get proper care, it will stop decreasing altogether.
NC has the ninth-highest infant mortality. Photo courtesy Citizen Times