Shelby County given an "F" rating for health of babies, but making progress

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Shelby County health leaders said, even though the county was given a bad rating for babies' health, a milestone has been reached. 
 

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The Mid-South was given an "F" rating when it comes to the health of babies. That is according to a new report showing the infant mortality rate.
 
The state of Tennessee has a "D," but Shelby County got an "F."
 
Still, the Shelby County Health Department said the infant mortality rate in 2015 was 8.2 deaths per 1,000 live births, the lowest ever recorded for the county. 
 
"We have made significant improvements and are encouraged by the decreased rate," Director the the Shelby County Health Department Alisa Haushalter said. 
 
The leading cause of infant deaths in Shelby County are birth defects, low-weight births, maternal complications, prematurity, and Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths. 
 
All of Mississippi and Arkansas have "F's" as well.
 
The health department encourages families to plan pregnancies and talk to doctors, do not smoke, take folic acid daily, begin prenatal care within 12 weeks of pregnancy, and have babies sleep alone on their backs in their cribs.