Recognizing pregnancy and infant loss during the month of October

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is a time to provide information, resources to those in the community.

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month—a time to honor and remember those who have lost a child during pregnancy or lost a child in infancy. In partnership with Metro Health.

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month—a time to honor and remember those who have lost a child during pregnancy or lost a child in infancy.

San Antonio Metro Health’s Healthy Start program is committed to creating awareness this October. The Healthy Start program is a free program that offers families quality services and resources for healthy pregnancies and healthy births.

First trimester and ongoing prenatal care is the most important thing you can do to have a successful pregnancy, according to Barbara Jardine with Metro Health.

“There is just a lot going on in your body, and every woman and every pregnancy is different. Safe sleep and breastfeeding education are also important, and they are one of the best ways to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS),” Jardine said.

Metro Health’s informatics team looked at birth outcomes in Bexar County and found that between 2014 - 2018, babies born to Black mothers are almost two times more likely to die before their first birthday than babies born to white women.

Babies born to Hispanic women are also at an increased risk, but not to the same intensity, Jardine said. There are many reasons for this, but social and economic factors like access to quality and affordable prenatal care and the need for better social support play a part.

“But truthfully, we have to acknowledge how the stress of experiencing historic and ongoing racism has negatively affected the health of our moms. It is important to keep our women of color at the center of this conversation if we want to see these rates improve. Black mothers experience infant loss at a much higher rate than other mothers, and our Hispanic moms make up a large percent of our population here in San Antonio,” Jardine said.

Healthy Start looks to help women by providing a no-cost parenting support program that can come to you. Their team of parenting specialists will assist with everything from helping you stay on track with your prenatal appointments to preparing for the baby’s arrival.

Once the baby is here, they help create a plan for developmental activities so that you can have fun while making those first few months the best foundation to set you and your child up for healthy success.

Women who are pregnant or parenting a baby six months or younger and caregivers who live in the service area can enroll in the program that allows you to earn incentives just for participating in fun and rewarding parenting activities. They also can serve up until the baby turns 18 months old.

Healthy Start hosts events throughout the year, such as community baby showers and family festivals that provide fun family activities while also providing resources and education on important pregnancy, maternal, infant and family health issues.

Healthy Start will host a Buggy Walk and Health Fair on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Millers Pond Park.

The event brings awareness to infant mortality and pregnancy loss and offers information on no & low-cost health resources while the kids can enjoy lots of fun activities. The Buggy Walk and Health Fair is pet friendly, and strollers are also welcome.

To find out more information on the walk or the Health Start Program, you can visit Metro Health’s website at https://www.sanantonio.gov/health.