City leaders, faith community take a stand to protect children

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The City of Milwaukee is seeing a rising number in the infant mortality rate. So city leaders collaborated with Columbia St. Mary's Hospital and the faith community on Sunday, October 12th -- hoping to curtail the problem.

Sunday's service began with a prayer for the less fortunate, those hurting and in need of guidance. That thoughtful reflection continued throughout the worship at Faithful Mission Pentecostal Church of Holiness.

Tiffany Weatherall, a mother of three, is affected every time she hears about another infant death.

"It really breaks my heart, makes me feel bad and I want to be more protective over my children," said Weatherall.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he's concerned about the growing problem in the city.

"In the last years unfortunately, we've seen an uptick and that`s what we are trying to tackle right now," said Barrett. "Because every baby who dies as a result of co-sleeping, there are four babies in the City of Milwaukee who die as a result of complications due to prematurity."

Barrett along with Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker took to the pulpit to address co-sleeping and premature births during the 4th annual Strong Baby Sabbath. Baker talks about the baby ABCs.

"We want babies to be alone on their backs in a crib in a smoke-free home," said Baker.

Mayor Barrett focused on getting community support for those with newborns.

"We wanted to get the faith community involved. They are a powerful partner in helping us support young woman of child-bearing age and young men who can father these children, to make sure they have the healthcare, the nutrition even the family support and time support for young mothers. There are a lot of stresses," said Barrett.

The church where Sunday's event was held is setting up a program to help get the community involved in helping newborns. It's also making cribs available for those who need them.