KRMC: Mothers increasing newborn survival rates
Expectant mothers in Mohave County made significant strides during the 1990s at ensuring survival of their babies, according to statistics supplied by Kingman Regional Medical Center.
"We're increasing newborn survival rates through preventive education, prenatal classes, maternity fair and the Healthy Babies, Healthy Moms program," Trish Faulk, director of perinatal services at KRMC, said.
"We have an active education department at the wellness center that's doing childbirth and Lamaze classes, and early bird classes for women early in their pregnancy on nutrition and the importance of no smoking or alcohol."
Faulk and members of her department researched birth information at the hospital for the years 1990, 1994 and 1999.
The most dramatic figure was in the decline of smoking among pregnant women.
There were 655 births in 1990 with 248 of the women or 37.9 percent saying they smoked.
Of 997 births in 1994, 314 women (31.5 percent) said they smoked.
Just 118 pregnant women said they smoked of the 603 that gave birth (19.6 percent) in 1999.
"We're getting the message out to pregnant moms that they're putting their baby at risk when they smoke," Faulk said.
"Smoking brings the possibility of a small birth weight baby, With that comes other factors like respiratory distress, poor feeding, asthma and anything else that goes with a small gestational baby."
Respiratory problems are a major concern among babies, called preemies, born three weeks or more early, she said.