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Infant death rates rising in certain groups, areas

Infant death rates rising among certain groups, areas
Posted at 5:35 AM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 07:31:51-04

Infant death rates are dropping across the United States, but new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control indicate it's still a common problem among certain groups, and in certain areas.

Geographically, Mississippi suffers from one of the highest infant death rates in the country. That's where 50 percent of the population lives in a rural community with poor access to health care.

Since getting the right care can be difficult - with long wait times and long drives - women in rural areas tend to take advice from friends and family, over a doctor they barely know.

"You know, somebody tells them, I'll just dilute their formula. You know, you don't have to do what the instructions say. Just give it a little bit more water. And you know, for babies, too much water is bad. And so then you have a baby coming in," said Dr. Lakeisha Richardson of the Mississippi Delta Health - Medical Group Women's Healthcare Clinic. "This malnutrition is dehydrated or this hyponatremia because they've been getting diluted formula. Then you have a death."

Doctors also say insurance companies holding up coverage on pre-natal care is adding to this problem.