January 2020: Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month

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


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


WHEREAS, birth defects are a leading cause of death in the first year of life, associated with 1 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, getting regular prenatal care can reduce the chance that a child will be born with a birth defect. A medical professional can tell you which steps are right for you to reduce the risk of birth defects such as taking a daily vitamin with folic acid before and during pregnancy, 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;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim January 2020 as Birth Defects Awareness Month in Michigan.