State Aims to Reduce Infant Mortality Rate

Jan 14, 2015

The public awareness campaign Labor of Love aims to educate new and expectant mothers.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The State Department of Health is spending the next year reaching out to new and expectant mothers in  an effort to curb the state’s infant mortality rate. The public awareness campaign called Labor of Love was launched Wednesday.

Indiana’s rate of infant deaths is one of the worst in the country. First Lady Karen Pence says the Labor  of Love campaign, meant to reduce that rate, will be carried on all major TV stations, at bus depots,  in radio ads, and in a variety of publications. 

She says messages will include everything from the  importance of prenatal care and breastfeeding to safe sleep.

“Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep," says Pence. "Keep your baby’s sleep area in your room but not in  your bed.” 

State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says infant mortality is a multifactorial, multi-generational  problem. And he says the campaign’s success will not rely solely on a decrease in the infant mortality  rate – he says the department will also look at the number of people reached and partnerships created.  

The campaign runs through December.