Mothers & Infants

Vision – Newborns, infants and toddlers thrive.

NHOP uses both Healthy People 2010 goals and Healthy People 2020 targets where applicable.  If there is no corresponding  2020 target, then the 2010 goal is used.

Fewer Hawaii County Women Receiving Prenatal Care

Prenatal Care of pregnant women in the first three months of pregnancy is highly correlated with better outcomes and is a reflection of access to care as well as awareness of the benefits of prenatal care.  In 2009,  a smaller percent of Hawaii County women received first trimester care, 63% compared to 79% for the State (chart).  Hawaii County does not meet Healthy People 2020 goals, although the State as a whole does.

Even more concerning, the percent of pregnant women in Hawaii County receiving prenatal care declined between  2000 and 2008 from 76% to 66%. More recent data is needed.

Infant Mortality in Hawaii County Improving

Infant mortality is defined by an infant’s death within the first year after birth.  In general, infant mortality is linked with socioeconomic indicators.  According to the Healthy People 2010, “infant mortality is also an indicator of pregnant women’s access to high quality primary care.” Because infant death is a relatively rare occurrence, rates vary more in smaller populations. Hawaii County infant mortality  rate per 1,000 births has historically been higher than the state (chart).

Low Birth Weight Babies

For both Hawaii County and Hawaii State the percent for low birth weight babies remained essentially the same between 2000-2009 (chart).  In 2009, the Hawaii County proportion, 7.4%, was slightly better than the Hawaii State proportion of 8.4%.

Background: There is a higher percent of low birth weight babies in teen births, births to women older than 40 years old and births to women with chronic infections such as dental infections.  Low birth weight rates are also higher with cigarette, alcohol and illegal drug use during pregnancy.

Implication: Low birth weight babies often require prolonged hospital stays, are expensive and are frequently associated with developmental delays, including lower rates of graduating from high school.  Although the Hawaii County rate meets Healthy People 2020 goals, further improvement is important to improve outcomes and reduce  costs.  Improving maternal access to prenatal care and dental care could help as well as reducing teen pregnancy.

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