September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month. I recently discovered that 70 babies in Montana die before their 1st birthday each year. The leading causes include problems in the perinatal period, sudden infant death syndrome, congenital anomalies, and causes with unknown origins. The 2006 Montana infant mortality rate was 5.8 per 1,000. The national rate was 6.7. 
To increase awareness about local and national infant mortality trends, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is spear-heading a baby hat knit/crochet campain. Here is the notice I received:
ICTC is observing September’s Infant Mortality Awareness Month; JOIN ICTC IN THE “HEADS UP” ON INFANT MORTALITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN” AND KNIT AND CROCHET HATS TO REFLECT THE INFANT MORTALITY RATE FOR VA, OR, FL, PA, CA, NM AND D.C.
Healthy Babies Are Everyone’s Business and I know that you care.
In 2008, over 27, 600 infant died before age one, most of the deaths were preventable. Monroe, president and founder of ICTC said, “factors that contribute to the higher rates of infant deaths include: premature births, low-birth weight, poverty, mis-education about proper food choices, poor pre-conception health, late prenatal care (beginning prenatal care late in the 2nd trimester,) less than 5 prenatal visits, high blood pressure (causing restricted blood flow to the placenta) and hypertension formally referred to as pre-eclampsia, SIDS, failure to thrive syndrome and accidents”.
ICTC is asking every able body to join us in knitting or crocheting at least ten infant hats and sending them to the ICTC State Representative in your state by September 15th. The ICTC State Representatives are listed on WWW.ICTCMIDWIVES.ORG, or you can send them to the national at ICTC PO Box 11923, Portland, OR 97211.
The hats will be displayed at an infant mortality awareness rally in the week of September 26th. At the end of the public awareness project the hats will be given to infants as “Going Home” gifts when they leave the local NICU units. What a comforting gift to an ill baby and support to worried parents. By participating in the “Heads Up” Campaign, we can increase awareness about the causes of infant mortality and then create the solutions to reduce infant deaths.
The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is an international organization established in 1991, and head quartered in Portland, Oregon. It is an infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion and midwife training organization. The mission is to increase the number black midwives, doulas, and healers, to empower families, in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality. ICTC educates on the causes of infant mortality and provides solutions through education, direct services and training midwives and Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Training.
This campaign is being co-sponsored by Birthing Hands of DC and other supporters.
To learn more visit http://www.ICTCMIDWIVES.ORG or call 503.460.9324
As I indicated on my advocacy blog, the Trial of Labor, I didn’t actually find more info about this via the ICTC website. However, Birthing Hands of DC has info on their site as well as links to easier patterns that you can knit and crochet, even a 10-minute preemie hat.
And I know that you have 10 minutes to make a hat for this wonderful cause!!!