FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, and groups here in Fort Wayne want you to be aware of some of the dangers.

Infant mortality is when a baby dies anywhere between 20 weeks and the first year of life. According to bridgesofpbc.org, the infant mortality rate in 2020 was 5.61 per 1,000 live births.

The infant mortality rate is an important measure of the well-being of infants, children and pregnant women because it is associated with a variety of factors. Some of those factors include Maternal health, Quality and access to health services and medical technology, and poverty and socioeconomic conditions.

“Some of the leading causes are preterm birth, and a baby that is born with congenital anomalies, or birth defects. Those are the two main causes we see.”

Paige Wilkins, executive director of Healthier Moms and Babies

If you don’t know what to do or want to do something at home to prevent this, there are a few things you can do. One thing is to understand your babies movements. If you don’t feel your baby move for 24 hours, you should do what they call count the kicks. Drink a cold glass of water, and lay on your right side. Count the kicks and see how many times your baby moves. If it’s less than 7 times in a 15 minute interval, you should call your doctor.

The second thing you can do is take prenatal vitamins. The extra folate can be critical when a woman is entering her first trimester.

There are plenty of ways that people can get involved, or help with lowering the number. At Healthier Moms and Babies, they are starting a diaper pantry, and are looking for volunteers to help distribute diapers to people in need.

For more information on infant mortality or for ways to get involved, you can visit their website.