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Reducing mortality in babies and young children

In Leeds, around 30 to 40 babies die each year before they reach their first birthday. Although these numbers have reduced over recent years, we need to do more.

The first two years of a child’s life, including the period they spend developing in the womb, are critically important to the way their brain develops – and to their future ability to be happy, socially adjusted and able to learn and do well in life.

We are building on existing work focusing on teenage pregnancies, maternal smoking and obesity, child poverty, over-crowding and reducing sudden infant deaths, breastfeeding, wellbeing in the first 2 years of life and ensuring people can access high quality maternity services.

We are also looking at other important aspects from conception to age 2, including:

  • the health and nutritional status of mums and babies;
  • preparation for parenthood;
  • timely support for parents experiencing stress such as poor mental health, drug, alcohol and tobacco use, domestic violence and poverty;
  • promoting good attachment and bonding, and
  • supporting the development of language and communication for very young children.

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