LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services has released a plan to help improve the health of mothers and babies.

The 2020-2023 Mother Infant Health and Equity Improvement Plan was done in partnership with the Maternal Infant Strategy Group.

Areas of focus include health equity; optimal birth spacing; healthy girls, women and mothers; safe sleeping for infants; full-term and healthy weight babies; and mental, emotional and behavioral well-being.

The plan emphasizes addressing clinical and non-clinical factors, such as housing, racial biases, and access to family planning.

State officials say Michigan has an infant mortality rate of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. They add that significant disparities exist across race, with black infants 2.8 times more likely to die before their first birthday than white infants.

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