Maternal Infant Health

We aim to help fulfill the mission of Spectrum Health Lakeland “To improve health, instill humanity and inspire hope” by eliminating and bringing awareness to racial disparities in birth outcomes. Maternal infant health needs to be addressed community-wide to improve maternal and infant health in Benton Harbor and surrounding areas. In partnership with community organizations and maternal health professionals, we are dedicated and focused on an ongoing effort to improve maternal and infant health among those most at risk for poor health outcomes.

In addition to closing the door on racial disparities, we hope to bring awareness to the health disparities across Berrien County and help educate youth on the inequities that are unfair, unjust, and avoidable.  Maternal infant health and infant mortality resources and support will be made available to the public through the Spectrum Health Lakeland website, social media channels, and community partnerships.

Maternal infant health
Infant Health
Maternal infant health with mask

Resources for expecting moms

Planning for delivery day costs

Having a baby is exciting! With little planning you can worry less about what it will cost. Having a baby can be expensive, but you can reduce your delivery day stress by connecting with a financial counselor at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Call 844.408.4103, option 1 to schedule an appointment with a financial counselor prior to your delivery.

Pregnancy care during COVID-19

If you are anxious about getting pregnant, there are ways to be more prepared. While there are still many questions out there, here's what we know.

  • Pregnancy increases the risk for severe COVID-19 disease and it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.
  • Pregnant women who get COVID-19 are three times more likely to need intensive hospitalized care. They are also two to three times more likely to need advanced cardiac life support or breathing tube, and are also at an increased risk of mortality overall compared to someone who is not pregnant.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should not be excluded from the vaccine if they choose. Currently, it’s not even recommended to test someone to see if they’re pregnant before they get the vaccine.
  • We have no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will affect fertility in males or females.

Resources for new moms

Is breastfeeding the best option?

Breastfeeding your baby is the natural way to provide nourishment for your baby. Your body has been supplying your baby over the last nine months with the exact nutrients needed to grow and develop. There are many benefits for babies and mothers when they breast feed. There are also nutritional requirements of the breastfed newborn. 

The importance of safe skin-to-skin

Every moment with your child is precious, especially the first few hours after they’re born. After birth, your baby is exposed to a whole new world outside of the womb. They immediately begin to adapt by learning how to breathe air in and out, swallow, and stabilize their temperature.

Safe sleep

Babies’ sleep habits vary. Some newborns will awaken only to be fed and then immediately go right back to sleep. Others will remain awake for longer periods of time. It may take several weeks before the baby knows that he is supposed to sleep longer at night than during the day. Most newborns wake every two to four hours and sleep an average of 16 to 20 hours during a 24-hour period. You should always lay your baby on their back to sleep unless your baby’s physician has told you differently.

Our commitment to moms and babies

We strive to continuously provide our moms, babies, and families a safe, nationally-recognized, and high-quality experience. Our goals are to decrease infant mortality rates and be an educational resource for new and expecting parents.

Michigan Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (MI AIM): Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital proudly earned a platinum designation for maternal care from MI AIM. Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph also earned gold level designation, the second highest ranking. MI AIM works with birthing hospitals to reduce and eliminate preventable maternal mortality and severe morbidity. Hospitals implement structured “safety bundle” plans to improve health outcomes for mothers to combat the leading causes of maternal mortality such as obstetric hemorrhage and severe hypertension. Safety bundle plans help hospitals by defining actionable protocols, education, equipment, and drills to prevent and treat serious maternal events.

The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM): Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital was awarded Excellence in Maternity Care in 2021 for the second year in a row. The EAM, a nonprofit group comprised of Michigan’s largest employers and unions, has awarded Lakeland Hospital Niles with the 2021 Maternity Care Excellence Award for demonstrated excellence in maternity care and delivery outcome. The awards are part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to decrease the state’s infant mortality rate, reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections, and be an educational resource for new and expecting parents residing in Michigan.

Infant mortality awareness

In recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month in September, we are bringing a heightened awareness to the public and community about health disparities and the impact they have on communities of color. Our goal is to provide affordable and healthy birthing experiences for all people.

Learn more about local statistics around infant mortality rates by visiting the links below.