Study: Infant mortality rates in one Lubbock zip code similar to

Study: Infant mortality rates in one Lubbock zip code similar to third world countries

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Despite being one of the wealthiest nations, infant mortality rates across the U.S. are higher than a number of third world countries. 

Pockets of Lubbock are well above the nations' average. According to a study by the University of Texas, the highest is the central Lubbock 79411 zip code, which compares to Uruguay and Sri Lanka -- 8.3 children per every 1,000 of children born on average die in this area. 

"There's different socioeconomic indicators that go into where we see higher infant mortality rates," said Director of Lubbock Dept. of Health Kathrine Wells. "It's sometimes linked with low income, access to prenatal care."

Wells said the key to solving the infant mortality problem is prevention.

"I really think it's important for moms early on in that pregnancy to get in to a doctor for prenatal care," she said.

By getting the prenatal care needed it allows doctors to be sure that expecting mothers are following healthy habits. 

"[It] makes sure they have good nutrition, they don't smoke, they don't have hypertension or obesity," Dr. Jeremy Dalton said. 

That preventative care does not stop at birth though.

"I think well child care is very important," Dr. Dalton said. "So if there's a condition that does arise it will be properly taken care of." 

If you have already experienced loss there are programs such as Pregnancy and Infant Awareness of Lubbock. It helps comfort grieving parents.

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