ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - For the last ten years, infant death rates in Alachua County have exceeded State numbers. Smoking is a risk factor and may be a key contributor to the high rates experienced by Alachua County. Statistics data show smoking is more common among pregnant women in Alachua County than in the rest of the State. Between 2003 and 2005 smoking among pregnant women increased by 64% and local data suggest the percent is continuing to rise.
"The high rate of smoking among pregnant women coincides with the high rate of infant mortality in Alachua County and may be related to both poor pregnancy outcomes and exposure of newborns to second hand smoke." stated Jean Munden, Administrator of the Alachua County Health Department. "The Baby Slumber Program will provide incentives and outreach to encourage pregnant women to participate in smoking cessation services offered by the Healthy Start Program."
The Baby Slumber program has been developed by the Alachua County Health Department Healthy Start program through grant funding provided by the March of Dimes. Participants will receive Baby Slumber Kits, which will help new moms comfort their infants and reinforce the proper sleeping position which may help to reduce sudden infant death (SIDS), which is more common among infants of smoking parents. The Baby Slumber Kits will include incentives to assist the participants in their efforts to reduce their smoking or set a quit date. Some of the items included are mint piggy banks, books, DVDs, and swaddling blankets. The participants will receive one-on-one smoking cessation services provided during home visits by a Healthy Start Care Coordinator. If the participant requests, the meeting sites can be a library, work site, or other convenient location. Expectant mothers or mothers of newborns who smoke are encouraged to enroll in the program. They can obtain more information from their doctor or midwife or call the.
For more information, contact your doctor or midwife or call Peggy Exum at the Alachua County Health Department Healthy Start office at 334-7940. Email her at Peggy_Exum@doh.state.fl.us or visit http://www.alachuacountyhealth.com/
The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.