SD's infant mortality rate improves for 2nd straight year; officials say strategies working

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PIERRE, South Dakota — South Dakota's infant mortality rate has improved for the second year in a row.

A state Department of Health report shows 73 infant deaths for 2014, or a rate of 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births That's down from the 2013 rate of 6.5 deaths and below the 20-year lows of 6.3 in 2011 and 6.4 in 2007.

First Lady Linda Daugaard says the state's work in promoting safe sleep practices, encouraging early prenatal care and helping pregnant women stop smoking is making an impact.

The 2014 report shows that more than 72 percent of pregnant women in the state received prenatal care in the first trimester as recommended.

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