January 2013: Birth Defects Prevention Month

WHEREAS, every four and a half minutes, a baby is born in the U.S. with a birth defect, affecting one in every 33 babies, and leading to $2.6 billion per year in hospital costs; birth defects can occur in any family, regardless of race, age, health or economic status; 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 may even save his or her life; and,


WHEREAS, preventive strategies include taking a multivitamin with folic acid daily to prevent serious defects of the brain and spine, maintaining a healthy weight, having regular checkups, learning about family history and genetic risks, and managing maternal medical conditions while minimizing unnecessary medication exposure in pregnancy; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Community Health, March of Dimes and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network as well as many dedicated volunteers, health care professionals and parent groups to raise awareness of birth defects and steps for prevention;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim January 2013 as Birth Defects Prevention Month in Michigan.