In the United States, the most recent infant mortality rate is 5.4 infant deaths per 1000 live births. The leading causes of infant deaths were birth defects, preterm birth and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, injuries, and maternal complications during pregnancy. Infants exposed to substances during pregnancy are at a higher risk of short-term and long-term complications, such as preterm birth and sudden infant death syndrome. Discrimination and stigma associated with substance use disorder, as well as the fear of punitive measures, can lead to delayed or inadequate prenatal care.
Most preterm infants, or those needing special care due to low birth weight, birth defects, maternal complications during pregnancy or delivery, or other high-risk factors, are admitted to the NICU. Any amount of time in the NICU can be stressful for both infants and parents. When infants are admitted to the NICU, parents often face significant stress, greater instances of anxiety and depression, and the economic burden of an extended stay.
What We Do
Through two key infant care programs, we are pairing improved care for parents and their infants with improved clinical practices to ensure better quality of life for all Colorado families. When new families are supported and cared for throughout their journey from conception to early parenting, they are better able to thrive. Connecting families to relevant resources in their community to share experiences and build new relationships is beneficial to both parents and infants, and has long term impact on improving outcomes for the birthing person and infant.
CHoSEN works to improve the quality of care for substance exposed newborns, where the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome is associated with longer hospital stays.
DEFINE focuses on collaboration with families to improve the experience of NICU hospitalization, and education for families to improve the quality of care infants receive in the NICU and when they return home.
Parents Thrive is an online tool and project of the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative designed to help new and expecting parents find resources and relatable stories to support their emotional wellbeing, including curated blogs and resources to support their parent journey, infant care, child development, and more.
Infant Care Resources
Guidance for parents whose babies require medicine to treat Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), including the duration of treatment, preparation, signs of NAS, and ways to support the baby’s well-being.
This template outlines various areas of assistance and action steps for the well-being of the infant, mother, parents/caregivers, and family support.
Help us improve maternal and infant health outcomes for all Colorado families. There are multiple ways to get involved: participate in a program, become a community advocate, attend an event, or share your story. Whether you are an individual, healthcare facility, community-based organization, or industry leader, there’s space for you in our work.