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Infant mortality: The number of infants who die before their first birthday.

Did you know that, according to the United Nations, the black infant mortality rate in Milwaukee is worse than the rate in Malaysia, Latvia, Cuba, Chile, Thailand and 62 other countries?

It's a complex problem related to poverty, race, health practices and health disparities, but we CAN act now to overcome one major problem that is killing our babies: infant sleep death.

From 2009-2011, there were more than 520 stillbirths and infant deaths in Milwaukee. For every 1,000 births, 10 infants died. Black infants were three times more likely to die than white infants. A substantial portion of these infant deaths and stillbirths were preventable, including those with risk factors for unsafe sleep.

Churches of all faiths across the city are invited to participate in the Safe Sleep Sabbath on Sunday, October 13th to alert their congregations to the troubling infant mortality statistics in Milwaukee and share critical – often misunderstood – information to promote safe sleep practices for infants.

The Safe Sleep Sabbath is being planned cooperatively by the City of Milwaukee Health Department and Columbia St. Mary’s. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Northwest Jurisdiction, General Baptist State Convention of Wisconsin Inc., Churches within the Urban Church Wellness Program, Common Ground Southeastern Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) are also supporting this extremely important topic.

An informational breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 8:30am-10:00am at Columbia St. Mary’s, as well as the 2013 Safe Sleep Sabbath scheduled at local churches on Sunday, October 13, 2013. At the breakfast we will provide consistent infant safe sleep messages, suggested church bulletin messages, and additional materials that can be handed out by participating churches on October 13th.

Registration is required. Please click here to register online or call 414-286-8620. 

Click Here for tools that you may use to alert your parishioners that your church will participate in the Safe Sleep Sabbath.