WHEREAS, one of the leading causes of death in the first month of life is prematurity or preterm birth, defined as babies born at less than 39 weeks gestation; and,
WHEREAS, babies are not fully developed until after 39 weeks, and babies born too soon can have lifelong health issues and learning challenges; and,
WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services encourages prematurity prevention strategies such as elimination of non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age; and,
WHEREAS, women should seek prenatal care in the first trimester to benefit from new strategies to prevent preterm birth; and,
WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with the March of Dimes Michigan Chapter and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association to raise public awareness of the problems of prematurity and to decrease the rate of preterm birth and infant mortality in Michigan; and,
WHEREAS, the month of November is recognized annually as World Prematurity Awareness Month to bring about recognition of this important topic to increase awareness of the high rates of preterm births and to support healthy pregnancies and prevent birth defects and infant deaths;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2017 as Prematurity Awareness Month in Michigan.