Giving Voice to the Grief of Infant Mortality

Posted: 28th Jan 2014

Eight North Texas parents who have lost a child to infant mortality will bring awareness to this important community health concern at a PhotoVoice exhibit opening February 10 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center (FWCAC).  The exhibit – “Eight Warrior Mamas: Survivors of Infant Mortality—Empty Arms, Broken Hearts and Grieving Wombs” - runs through February 28 and is sponsored by March of Dimes Texas with the UNT Health Science Center School of Public Health, in partnership with Healthy Moms-Healthy Babies-Healthy Community.

Infant mortality is defined as the death of a child during the first year of life and is used as a measure for the overall health status of a community, reflecting the well-being of mothers and children, especially as relates to socioeconomic and racial disparities. Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas continue to have the highest infant mortality rates across Texas.

In their own words and photos, the Warrior Mamas chronicle reflections of their community and their lives that they feel may have contributed to their loss. PhotoVoice is a process that enables people to use video and/or photo images to capture aspects of their environment and experiences and share them with others, in the hope to build change.

“There are many broad and complex factors that can impact the loss of a child,” said UNTHSC School of Public Health instructor Marcy Paul, MA, who developed and co-led this project with Lindsey Eley, MPH, also from the UNTHSC School of Public Health, under March of Dimes grant funding. “From not being able to find healthy food choices in their local neighborhoods to lack of access for prenatal care and lack of sidewalks for safe physical exercise, the underlying causes are important to understand and address, in order to make progress for better health of mothers and babies in our community in the future.”

The public is invited to a reception for the exhibit on Friday, February 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the FWCAC.  For more information, call UNT Health Science Center at (817) 735-0537 or (817) 735-0526, or email Lindsey.eley@unthsc.edu or Marcy.paul@unthsc.edu.

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