Lakizzy Carson’s first child, a boy, was born several weeks premature, weighing only 1 pound, 5 ounces. He needed hospital care for several weeks after his birth before he was able to go home.
It was not the kind of experience that Carson, of Clayton County, wanted to repeat. When she was pregnant with her second child, in 2012, she enrolled in a local health program intended to reduce premature births and infant mortality.
“I wanted help to guide me,’’ says Carson, now 37. She adds that she has what is known as an “incompetent cervix,” one with a tendency to weakness that can cause or contribute to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy.
Public Health officials in the county gave Carson information about nutrition, prenatal care and other resources.
“They gave me a whole lot of attention,” Carson says. “They kept me sane.’’
The second child, Jasmine, was born premature at 36 weeks, but she was able to go home with her mother.
Clayton County has been working on improving its infant mortality statistics for several years, targeting women such as Carson.
And the county, just south of Atlanta, recently received a $3.5 million award over five years from the federal Healthy Start grant program. full story