Addressing the Critical Need for More Fatherhood Programs in Florida

There is a father absence crisis in America. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.3 million children, 1 in 4, live without a biological, step, or adoptive father in the home. This same research shows that when a child is raised in a father-absent home, he or she is at a 4x greater risk of poverty; 7x more likely to become pregnant as a teen; more likely to have behavioral problems; more likely to face abuse and neglect; more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; more likely to go to prison; 2x more likely to suffer obesity; more likely to commit crime and 2x more likely to drop out of high school. Additionally, infant death within the first 28 days of life is 4x higher for those with absent fathers than those with involved fathers. However, children with involved dads have better overall emotional and social well-being; are less likely to be mistreated; do better in school; and are less likely to carry guns. Boys have fewer behavior problems and girls have fewer psychological problems.
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Improving Outcomes for Mothers & Babies: Infant Mortality in Florida

Infant mortality rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a community. Infant mortality is the death of an infant during the first year of life and is calculated as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Infant mortality is further classified into neonatal deaths which occur during the first 27 days of life and post-neonatal deaths which occur from 28-364 days of life.
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Budget Graph

Investing in a Healthy Start for Florida’s Children

In a tight budget year, it is vital to remember that the highest rate of return on investment is during the earliest years (ages 0-3) . This is why it is critical to ensure that every baby has a chance at a Healthy Start.
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Infant Mortality graph

Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes

Prematurity is a leading cause of infant deaths in Florida and across the country, and can lead to life-long health issues for infants that survive. There are also considerable racial disparities in premature birth –the preterm birth rate. In Florida, the preterm birth rate among black women is 52% higher than the rate among all other women.
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Depression in women graphic

Perinatal Depression

Pregnant women with depression are 3.4 times more likely to deliver preterm and four times as likely to deliver a low birth-weight baby than non-depressed women. Perinatal depression also contributes to long-term health and developmental issues in children. Children of depressed mothers are at higher risk of experiencing development delays at 18 months, and physical health problems in early childhood, resulting in later social and emotional problems during adolescence and adulthood.
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Mother holding baby graphic

Maternal Mortality

Around 700 women die annually in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. The maternal mortality rate has increased from 12.7 per 100,000 in 2002 to 17.4 per 100,000 in 2018. Black mothers in Florida are 2-3X more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White mothers.
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Drug death quote

Substance Use Disorder

An estimated five percent of women — or more than 11,000 in Florida — use one or more addictive substances during pregnancy. Smoking tobacco or marijuana, taking prescription pain relievers, or using illegal drugs during pregnancy is associated with poor birth outcomes, including stillbirth.
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mother reading to child

Enhancing Medicaid Benefits 12 Months Postpartum

According to the Perinatal Periods of Risk research, most fetal and infant deaths are due to the health of the mother before she gets pregnant. Currently, women in Florida who qualify for Medicaid due to pregnancy lose their coverage 60 days after their pregnancy ends leaving them uninsured until their next pregnancy and unable to address ongoing health issues such as hypertension. While current coverage allows for a postpartum visit (usually at six weeks), many pregnancy-related complications arise beyond this period.
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