Babies are considered healthy when they are born full-term, have an appropriate birth weight, and have no birth defects or illness. A healthy birth actually begins before the baby is conceived and is characterized by practicing healthy behaviors such as ensuring proper nutrition, taking nutritional supplements (such as multivitamins and folic acid), planning the pregnancy, and preparing emotionally, physically and financially for the lifestyle changes to come.
A healthy mother is much more likely to deliver a healthy baby. The health of the mother before she becomes pregnant is strongly associated with the outcome of the birth. Women with chronic health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes or hypertension, are more likely to have an infant who is preterm, low birth weight or dies in the first year of life. Therefore, good prenatal and interconceptional health conditions can dramatically improve the chances of delivering a healthy baby. Women prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy should avoid:
In Florida, this data is regularly collected and maintained by the State's Department of Health.
The birth data statistics presented are calculated spatially by first geocoding the addresses of the birth mothers. Geocoding involves matching a physical address to a digital reference layer, such as a roads or parcels layer, in GIS. Geocoding rarely results in a 100% successful matching rate and this holds true for the data being presented here as well. Residency addresses provided by the birth mother were geocoded directly by the Florida Department of Health. The percentage matched is typically very high (around 90%) and while this number serves as a very good representation of the birth trends within the county it is important to note that the data presented here is a sample of the true total number of births.