It took hearing her baby's heartbeat for Tia Reed to admit she was pregnant.

The single mom had taken six pregnancy tests but was in denial until she went to Choices Pregnancy Resources Center last winter. She was clueless about what she would do, and about how to take care of another person. It was there that she learned how to eat healthy foods, read to her baby and get the support she needed to acquire diapers, formula and a car seat.

For more than a decade Hamilton County has had the second-highest death rate for babies less than a year old in the state -- 33 in 2012 -- and Choices, a faith-based organization in Brainerd, is one of several groups across the county that works to educate expecting parents on nutrition, safety concerns and early childhood development.

Now Mayor Andy Berke wants to add a city organization to that list, which has sparked a debate on the City Council.

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