Infant mortality rate falls to the lowest level in state recorded history

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – On October 1, Gov. Holcomb announced Indiana’s infant mortality rate fell in 2019 to the lowest level in state recorded history.

Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before their first birthday and is one of the leading indicators of a nation’s health.

Preliminary data released by the Indiana Department of Health shows the statewide infant mortality rate fell from 6.8 per 1,000 live births in 2018 to 6.5 in 2019.

The mortality rate among Black infants fell from 13.0 in 2018 to 11.0 in 2019.

A total of 527 Indiana babies died before their first birthdays in 2019, down from 559 in 2018 and 602 in 2017.

This marks the third year of decline in the infant mortality rate and is the lowest since 1900, when rates were first recorded in Indiana.

Gov. Holcomb made reducing Indiana’s infant mortality rate a priority.

Indiana has taken other steps to improve infant and maternal health in recent years, including:

  • Developing a Levels of Care system for birthing hospitals to ensure that women deliver their baby at the facility that best meet their needs.
  • Adopting obstetrical safety bundles through the Alliance of Innovation on Maternal Health.
  • Allocating more than $27 million in Safety PIN grants since 2017 to community partners for both novel and evidence-based programs to reduce infant mortality and improve the health and well-being of mothers and babies.
  • Requiring prenatal care providers to conduct a verbal screening for substance use disorder for all pregnant women so they can receive services that improve their health and that of their babies.
  • Establishing a committee to review every maternal death in the state, with the goal of understanding the causes and developing strategies to prevent future cases.

Expectant women, new mothers and individuals from anywhere in the state can call the MOMS Helpline at 1-844-MCH-MOMS to find resources available for their communities.

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