Celebrate Day 366: Reducing Infant Mortality

Every Baby Deserves a Chance

NHSA’s campaign, Celebrate Day 366…Every Baby Deserves a Chance, celebrates babies living beyond the first year of life.

NHSA promotes the effectiveness of ongoing programs and efforts implemented to reduce infant deaths, low birthweight, pre-term births and disparities in perinatal outcomes all year round.

The Celebrate Day 366…Every Baby Deserves a Chance Infant Mortality Awareness Campaign supports and  inspires people from around the nation to take action in support of the Healthy People 2030 goal to improve the health and well-being of women, infants, children and families.

Join the National Healthy Start Association and be part of the generation that ensures that every baby has a chance…

  • To take their first step.
  • To say their first word.
  • To graduate from college.
  • To become President.
  • To Celebrate Day 366.

September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Every year in September, NHSA sponsors National Infant Mortality Awareness Month (NIMAM).

On September 1, 2022, NHSA officially declared that September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month. Read the NHSA NIMAM Proclamation 9-1-22.

What is Infant Mortality and Why is It Important?

Infant mortality is when a baby dies before its first birthday. In 2020, the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the U.S. was 5.681 per 1,000 live births. The health and well-being of children and families across the globe are measured by infant mortality rates.

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, such as:

  • Maternal health
  • Quality and access to health services and medical technology
  • Poverty and socioeconomic conditions
  • Community health
  • Public health practices

America’s IMR has gone down over the years, but it is still higher than many other developed countries.

NHSA encourages the federally-funded Healthy Start projects around the country to participate in recognition of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month (NIMAM) each September. NHSA provides a toolkit with ideas and resources for the projects that includes information on how to get local or state-elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring September as NIMAM. The October issue of NHSA’s monthly newsletter, Getting off to a Healthy Start, showcases the Projects’ Happenings during September for NIMAM. Check back in October once the newsletter has been posted to see how Healthy Start recognized NIMAM this year!

Causes of Infant Mortality

The five leading causes of infant death are birth defects, preterm birth and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, maternal pregnancy complications and injuries (e.g., suffocation).

There are huge disparities based on race and ethnicity, as well as geographic areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information explaining these disparities.

About the NIMAM Campaign

Throughout the month of September, Healthy Start projects and other organizations concerned with the issue and importance of infant mortality recognize NIMAM.

  • Events are held, such as Baby Buggy Walks, participation in health fairs or displays of prematurity-sized “onesies” representing the number of infant deaths in a community.
  • Projects reach out to their elected officials to have September officially proclaimed Infant Mortality Awareness Month in their state or community.
  • Visits are made to legislators to educate them about this issue.

How Can You Get Involved?

Click the links below that will take you to resources to help raise infant mortality awareness. Working together, we can reduce the number of babies that do not live to see their first birthday. It’s up to us to make sure that families are equipped with the tools to live healthier lives.

Celebrate Day 366/NIMAM Campaign Resources

Join NHSA for our two monthly webinars: the Women’s Health Series or Grand Rounds on the first Thursday of each month and Fatherood on the third Thursday of the month.