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B’More for Healthy Babies

Baby playing with toys.
January 21, 2019 / Baltimore Medical System Staff

In 2009, Baltimore’s infant mortality rate was 1.3 times greater than Maryland’s state average. Since January 2010, Baltimore Medical System in partnership with the Family League and the Baltimore City Health Department, along with a number of partner organizations have been working on the City Strategy to Improve Birth Outcomes known as B’more for Healthy Babies.

The B’More for Healthy Babies Initiative (funded by CareFirst) has exceeded expectations, helping to reduce sleep-related infant deaths by 50% and contributing to an overall 38% decrease in the city’s infant mortality rate. B’More for Healthy Babies offers aid and increased access to prenatal care through programs including home visiting, safe sleep education and Moms Clubs.

Since 2009, the disparity between African American infant deaths and those of white infants has narrowed by 64% in Baltimore City. The B’more for Healthy Babies Initiative to Reduce Infant Mortality has made significant impact reducing the infant mortality rate by 38%. Our women’s health team includes three OB/GYN physicians, two nurse practitioners and six certified nurse midwives. In 2017, Baltimore Medical System provided prenatal care to 666 mothers with 614 babies born with a healthy birthweight.

Our continued growth has expanded initiatives that address infant mortality:

Nurse Family Partnership, in collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department who has provided home visiting, education and support to first-time pregnant mothers through the baby’s second birthday. Nurse Family Partnership is a national evidence-based program to positively transform the lives of vulnerable babies, mothers and families.

Moms Clubs meet to share pregnancy experience and education through “The Baby Basics Program” an easy-to-read prenatal guide to pregnant women across Baltimore City. At Moms Clubs, the women share and learn information about their pregnancies in a relaxed atmosphere. BMS sponsors three clubs for Spanish-speaking moms in the Patterson Park North and East communities.

B’more Fit for Healthy Babies offers weekly exercise and nutrition classes educating women on budgeting, food preparation, healthy weight loss and overall wellness strategies to mothers who have a child under the age of five. The most popular part of the evening is without a doubt the “zumba” sessions, led by certified instructors.

Community Health Workers (CHWs) have been recruited from the community and team with clinical staff to help identify barriers and design programming with community input. The CHWs are critical team members contributing to the program’s success.

Our 2018 targets include expanding access to mental health and wellness activities, expanding the reach of B’more for Healthy Babies and identifying ways to help reduce the disparities in birth outcomes. Baltimore Medical System is working to create a Baltimore where all babies are born healthy and ready to thrive.

BMS is deeply committed to improving health, wellness and the quality of life in the communities we serve by providing safe, high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare. Read more about the progress we have made in our 2017 Annual Report!