The Baker County Health Department — the only provider of OB care in the county — will cease these services February 29 due to budget cuts. Women will be referred to a private office in Orange Park.
Approximately 100+ women sought prenatal care from the Health Department each year. The county averages about 390 births per year.
The small, rural county, which has a high rate of late or no prenatal care, struggles with access to providers. The issue was identified as one of the main barriers to health care in the 2010 Health Needs Assessment of the county conducted by the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida.
Seeking prenatal care early — in the first trimester — and regularly is vital to the health of babies. Mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have low birth weight babies and five times more likely to have their baby die, compared to mothers who do receive prenatal care.
The Baker County Infant Mortality Task Force launched a campaign in May 2011 to promote prenatal care. For more information, visit the Moms Matter page.
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