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‘Providing support:’ Strong Baby Sabbath aims to reduce the high infant mortality rate in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- It's a significant problem affecting Milwaukee city. Nearly 100 babies born in Brew City did not make it to their first birthday in 2018. City leaders continue to work to prevent infant mortality.

Strong Baby Sabbath

"We do care for our community," said Evelyn Merriett, with New Covenant Baptist Church near 38th Street and North Avenue.

Members of the church, one of the many Strong Baby Sanctuaries in Milwaukee, help educate about the problem and provide resources to those in need.

"African-American babies are three times more likely to die before their first birthday as white babies," said Mayor Tom Barrett on the Strong Baby Sabbath Sunday, Oct. 13. "We are looking for every way we can to reduce the infant mortality rate."

Strong Baby Sabbath

Strong Baby Sabbath

Mayor Barrett visited congregations Sunday morning, sharing the startling statistics and message of awareness.

"Some of it has to do with providing support," said Mayor Barrett. "Emotional support, physical support for young women who are going to be mothers."

That's where this partnership comes in.

"We participated a number of times by donating money or helping with the baby outreach when they need supplies and things like that," said Merriett.

Mariah Galarza and her family

Strong Baby Sabbath

Mariah Galarza said those things can make all the difference.

"That is exactly what God would want us to do," said Galarza, a young mother.

Combining support for young women and their families along with education, the initiative is aimed at preventing the main causes of infant deaths: premature births and unsafe sleeping environments.

Strong Baby Sabbath

"I know it's making a difference," said Merriett. "We have to continue to support this initiative. Young women, mothers, and babies really need us."

For more information on the Strong Baby Sanctuaries in Milwaukee, and resources for infants and mothers, CLICK HERE.

Strong Baby Sabbath

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