Lowry Avenue Bridge glows pink and blue for lost babies

The Lowry Avenue Bridge glows pink and blue for babies.
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The Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis will be colored with light pink and blue lights Saturday to raise awareness for National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Day.

It's observed on Oct. 15.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more that 24,000 babies (about 1 percent of pregnancies) are born stillborn every year in the U.S. And just about as many die before their first birthday.

The CDC says that the causes of many stillbirths are unknown. But being a teenager or over the age of 35, being black, obese, or smoking during the pregnancy increases the risk.

And more than half of infant deaths happen due to birth defects, preterm births, pregnancy complications, sudden infant death syndrome or injuries.

How Minnesota compares

According to America's Health Rankings, Minnesota's infant mortality rate has consistently been below the rest of the country's.

Last year, Minnesota's was 5.1 per 1,000 births while the U.S. was at six.

There are significant racial disparities in Minnesota, though.

The website says the infant mortality rate of someone with a black race is 8.8 while someone who is white is at 4.4.

The infant mortality rate for American Indians is even higher: 11.4.

The CDC says Minnesota is also one of 16 states participating in a program to collect information about infant deaths to prevent more from happening.

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