FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On Monday, Healthier Moms & Babies released its 2023 Allen County Infant Mortality Report and highlighted some of the key takeaways from the report.

Healthier Moms & Babies is a local nonprofit that aims to promote the health and safety of moms and babies by reducing infant mortality rates and improving the outcome of pregnancies.

The report showed Allen County had an infant mortality rate of 6.9 for every 1,000 births.

The figure represented an increase from Indiana’s infant mortality rate of 6.6 and the national rate of 5.4.

Another notable statistic from the report showed the infant mortality rate of black Allen County residents is 15.2 percent, more than double the county’s average.

Through a survey discussed in the report, Healthier Moms & Babies highlighted four key issues the organization said inhibits positive growth in infant mortality rates in Allen County:

Parents Struggling with Mental Health: The report indicated many parents struggle with anxiety or depression.

Neglecting Regular Healthcare: According to the survey, many women in the survey reported not getting routine check-ups during pregnancy.

Misunderstanding Best Practices: The report said survey respondents mentioned a lack of communication with their doctors regarding behaviors and practices to support healthy pregnancies.

Encountering Economic Struggles: Responses from the survey indicated many of the respondents struggle with financial security, which can affect a family’s wellness.

Paige Wilkins, executive director of Healthier Moms & Babies, said although seeing these statistics is unfortunate, hearing about the success stories is what motivates her to continue her work.

“Our jobs can be kind of depressing when you hear all these infant mortality rates, but then when I see and hear stories about our families who are having positive birth outcomes, and I see every year the difference that we’re making, that’s what drives me and keeps me going,” Wilkins said.

The report used statistics from numerous sources, including a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data from the Indiana Department of Health.