OUTCOME 1

Healthy Babies

BALTIMORE'S PROMISE HAS A GOAL THAT

Babies Are Born Healthy

Health conditions affect a child’s ability to learn and develop, starting in the earliest days and months of life. Children born pre-term or at low birthweight tend to have lower cognitive scores, increased incidence of ADHD, and more behavioral problems throughout childhood. Since 2005, Baltimore City has averaged over 9,200 births per year, with a recorded low of 8,656 in 2015. Baltimore’s Promise has identified infant mortality, low birthweight, and teen pregnancy as our key indicators for this outcome.

Babies are born healthy is an outcome that has been prioritized by the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Key Metrics

Infant mortality rate

In 2015, 8.4 infants died per 1,000 live births.

Low birthweight

TEST: In 2018, 11.3% of births were infants weighing less than 5.5lbs.

Teen birth rate

In 2015, there were 41 live births per 1,000 females aged 15-19.

INFANT MORTALITY

Defined as deaths of infants less than one year old per 1,000 live births, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) identified infant mortality as "one of the most critical indicators of the overall health of a population."

According to the Baltimore City Health Department, the 2015 infant mortality rate represents the lowest rate on record in Baltimore.

Infant Mortality (Per 1000 Births)

(Baltimore City & Maryland)

Infant Mortality (Per 1000 Births)

The 2015 infant mortality rate among black mothers in Baltimore City represents a decline of 48% from an eight-year peak of 18.5 in 2009.

Racial/ Ethnic Disparity in Baltimore City's Infant Mortality Rate (Per 1000 Births)

(Baltimore City)

Racial/ Ethnic Disparity in Baltimore City's Infant Mortality Rate (Per 1000 Births)

Low Birthweight Deliveries

Children born at low birthweight, defined as less than 5.5 lb, tend to have lower cognitive scores, increased incidence of ADHD, and more behavioral problems at school age. Additionally, being born at low birthweight increases the chances of mortality and morbidity, with one study showing survival rates under 20% for babies born under 500 g (1.1 lb). Research shows that mothers who receive early and consistent prenatal health care are more likely to give birth to babies born at a healthy weight. Baltimore City mothers continue to have a higher percentage of babies born with a low birthweight compared to the state's average.

In 2015, about 1 in 8 (12.3%) babies born in Baltimore City weighed about 5.5 lb (2,500 g) or less.

Low Birthweight Deliveries

(Baltimore City & Maryland)

Racial/ Ethnic Disparity in Baltimore City's Low Birthweight Deliveries

In 2015, 14.6% of black mothers in the city delivered underweight babies, while 8.4% of white mothers had underweight babies.

Racial/ Ethnic Disparity in Baltimore City's Low Birthweight Deliveries

(Baltimore City)

Racial/ Ethnic Disparity in Baltimore City's Low Birthweight Deliveries

BIRTHS TO TEENS

Pregnancy is inherently associated with risks; however, giving birth within certain age ranges is associated with higher risk levels. Research has identified age as a contributing factor to poor birth outcomes, with babies born to teen mothers being more likely to have poor birth outcomes, such as higher risk of preterm birth, low birthweight, and infant mortality. In Baltimore City, teen births have decreased dramatically since the late 1990s, but remain higher than the state's average. Reducing the number of teen births is a key component to increasing successful birth outcomes.

Between 2005 and 2014, the number of teenage females giving birth in Baltimore City declined significantly, from 66.2 per 1,000 to 41.0 — a 38% decrease.

Teen Birth Rate (Per 1,000 Females Ages 15-19)

(Baltimore City & Maryland)

Teen Birth Rate (Per 1,000 Females Ages 15-19)

Much of the decline in Baltimore City’s overall teen birth rate during the past 10 years can be attributed to decreases among black and Hispanic teenagers.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Baltimore City's Teen Birth Rate (Per 1,000 Females Ages 15-19)

(Baltimore City)

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Baltimore City's Teen Birth Rate (Per 1,000 Females Ages 15-19)