November 2012: Infant Prematurity Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Michigan's infant mortality rate is 17 times higher among premature infants than those who are full term, and our state ranks 31st overall for preterm births; and,

WHEREAS, prematurity - one of the leading causes of death in the first month of life - has steadily increased during the past two decades; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Community Health encourages prematurity prevention strategies such as elimination of non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age as babies are not fully developed until after 39 weeks; and,

WHEREAS, the department also encourages women to seek prenatal care in the first trimester to help prevent preterm birth as well as to identify high-risk mothers so that they can make arrangements for delivery at a facility for high-risk patients; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Community Health and the March of Dimes, coordinator of the National Prematurity Awareness Month campaign, to raise awareness of the issues of prematurity and to decrease the rate of preterm birth in our state and nation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2012 as Infant Prematurity Awareness Month in Michigan.