In recent years, Guilford County government has been putting a lot of emphasis on providing pregnant mothers with the resources and information they need to deliver healthy babies and keep them well after birth.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, program supporters helped call attention to those babies who did not survive.
The walk was meant to remember all the children lost in Guilford County before their first birthday. It was held in coordination with an international event that brings attention to the problem around the world.
While the Every Baby Guilford Program is meant to keep babies alive and healthy, the Every Baby Remembered Walk was held to honor babies lost during pregnancy and infancy in Guilford County. The walk organized by Every Baby Guilford took place Sunday afternoon in LaBauer Park in Greensboro.
According to the organizers, Every Baby Remembered was intended to provide a platform for grieving families “to connect and find support.”
Held in conjunction with the national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, the walk “embodies the collective commitment of Guilford County to remember and mourn each life lost prematurely.”
The walk path featured over 40 signs representing the infants lost in 2021.
The day ended with the Global Wave of Light ceremony at 7 p.m., where candles were lit in remembrance.
Every Baby Guilford is a widespread county and community program founded in 2021 in order to address high infant mortality rates in the region.
Since infant mortality is much greater in minority communities, the program puts a lot of focus on addressing the problem among that group.
Guilford County’s infant mortality rate is currently at 7.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, which puts the county squarely on the wrong side of state and national averages. The mortality rate among black infants in Guilford County is almost three times higher than that of white infants.
Jean Workman, the program manager of Every Baby Guilford for Guilford County Health and Human Services, said minority mothers are at a much greater risk.
“We have a black maternal and infant health crisis in Guilford County,” she said. “For far too long, too many black families have experienced disparate rates with infant death. Every Baby Guilford is working collectively with the community to change that narrative. When we create a healthy Guilford County for Black babies then we create a healthy Guilford County for all of us. Our vision is for every baby and family to have equitable opportunities and access to achieve the healthiest start in life.”
Some notable participants were Guilford County Commissioner Carlvena Foster, and Tomeka Isaac, founder of Jace’s Journey – a nonprofit named in honor of her son with a goal of addressing racial disparities in maternal health outcomes.