"Strong Baby" campaign: Churches honored for serving as 'support sanctuaries' for mothers, new families

MILWAUKEE -- Twenty-four churches were honored during a "Strong Baby" educational luncheon on Wednesday, October 5th in Milwaukee.

This year marks the sixth annual collaboration between city officials, local faith leaders and Columbia St. Mary's Hospital.

The goal is to make local churches "Strong Baby Sanctuary" locations -- where pregnant women and new families can find a network of support -- in an effort to reduce the infant mortality rate in Milwaukee by 10%.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said numbers are decreasing, but the issue is complex.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"What we have seen is, we have seen a reduction in infant mortality rates across the board. However, we have also seen a greater reduction in the white community than in the African-American community. And a lot of that has to do with the life stresses for people living in poverty," Mayor Barrett said.

During the luncheon, the focus was largely on the harmfulness of stress on a newborn.

A "Strong Baby Sabbath" is set for Sunday, October 9th.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the City of Milwaukee's "Strong Baby" campaign.