January 2019: Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month

WHEREAS, birth defects are common, costly, and critical; and,

WHEREAS, birth defects affect an estimated 1 in 25 infants born in Michigan each year; and,

WHEREAS, birth defects are a leading cause of death in the first year of life, associated with one in 5 infant deaths in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, birth defects can occur in any family regardless of race, ethnicity, health history, or economic status; and,

WHEREAS, steps can be taken to reduce the chance that a child will be born with a birth defect, such as taking a daily vitamin with folic acid before and during pregnancy, getting regular prenatal care, becoming up-to-date with vaccinations, reaching a healthy weight before pregnancy, and stopping the use of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy; and,

WHEREAS, early identification of a child with a birth defect coupled with early intervention services typically improves the child’s quality of life; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services joins with the March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, as well as many dedicated volunteers, healthcare professionals, and parent groups in promoting this important cause;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim January 2019 as Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month in Michigan.