An infant death is the death of an infant born alive that dies before its first birthday. Infant deaths are typically classified in two categories (neonatal and postneonatal deaths), which vary in terms of risks factors and causes. Leading causes of infant death are birth defects, preterm and low birthweight, sudden infant death syndrome, pregnancy complications, and injuries.
A separate, but related, event is fetal death. A fetal death (also called a stillbirth) is the death of a fetus that is at least 20 weeks gestation but dies before it is born. Fetal deaths effect about 1% of all pregnancies in the US but causes of fetal death are poorly understood. Known contributors include birth defects and genetic problems, problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, or health conditions of the mother such as uncontrolled diabetes.
Key fetal/infant mortality statistics for Minnesota in 2019
- Number of infant deaths (Infants aged < 1 year): 342
- Number of neonatal deaths (Infants aged < 28 days): 230
- Number of postneonatal deaths (Infants aged 28 days to < 1 year): 112
- Fetal (Stillbirth) deaths (20+ weeks gestation): 392
- Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births: 5.1
- Neonatal mortality rate per 1,000 live births: 3.4
- Postneonatal mortality rate per 1,000 live births: 1.7
- Fetal mortality rate per 1,000 live births + fetal deaths: 5.1