Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Michigan PRAMS?      

Michigan PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System) is a joint research project between state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each year in Michigan, most mothers have healthy pregnancies and most babies are born healthy. However, thousands of Michigan babies are born too early, too small, or facing other health complications. We need your help to find out why. The PRAMS questionnaire asks new mothers about their behaviors and experiences before, during, and after their pregnancy. No matter how your pregnancy went, your answers will help us learn more about ways to help Michigan mothers and babies have the best opportunities to be healthy.

How was I chosen to participate in Michigan PRAMS?

Your name was chosen at random from recently issued Michigan birth certificates. Michigan birth certificates are compiled by the Vital Records Office. The Vital Records Office and the MI PRAMS Program are both in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Will my answers be kept private?

All answers are kept completely private to the extent permitted by law. All answers given on the questionnaires will be grouped together to give us information on Michigan mothers of new babies. No women will be identified individually in any reports from this survey. We have your name and address for only one reason: so we can contact you and ask you to participate in PRAMS. Your name is never attached to any survey answer you provide. No one else, including any employees at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or our CDC partners can connect your answers to your name. At the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the MDHHS Institutional Review Board enforces the federal policy that protects the rights of any person who participates in scientific health research, including surveys like PRAMS. The Institutional Review Board is an extra layer of security for you. If Michigan PRAMS staff doesn't honor their legal and ethical obligation to keep your information private, the Institutional Review Board at MDHHS steps in and determines discipline and sanctions.

Is it really important that I answer these questions?

It is really important, and here's why. Your story is unique, but it has similarities to the stories of other mothers. Because we can't interview every one of the over 100,000 new Michigan mothers each year, we randomly select several thousand women who have recently given birth to represent all Michigan mothers. Researchers call this "statistical inference," and it means that your answers help speak for other mothers who may be like you in terms of your age, race, or whether you live in a city or rural area of Michigan, etc.

Some of the questions do not seem related to health care, why are they asked?

Questions that may seem unrelated to the topic of health care can still affect the health of a mother and her baby. Factors such as where a woman lives, the people in her life, and her daily activities all impact her and her baby's well-being. If we only look at the health care a mother and baby get from doctors and hospitals, we would miss seeing all the other things that create opportunities or barriers for moms and babies to live their healthiest possible lives.

My baby is healthy and so am I. Why do you need to hear from me?

We are happy you and your baby are doing well. We can't discover what makes some pregnancies difficult and some babies unhealthy unless we discover what factors support healthy pregnancies and babies. If you had a healthy pregnancy and baby, hearing your story is just as important as hearing the stories of moms with difficult pregnancies or babies with health issues.

I lost my copy of the PRAMS survey. How can I get a new one mailed to me?

Contact Jill Hardy at 517-335-9509 or toll free at 884-947-7267 or email at to request another copy of the PRAMS survey.

I want to take my PRAMS survey over the phone or I need accessibility accommodations to complete the PRAMS survey. Who do I contact?

Contact Jill Hardy at 517-335-9509 or toll free at 884-947-7267 or email at to make this request.

What if I want to ask more questions about PRAMS?

Contact Jill Hardy at 517-335-9509 or toll free at 884-947-7267 or email at We are happy to answer any questions you have about the PRAMS survey.

PRAMS Resource List


Back to the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Section Page
Back to the Lifecourse Epidemiology and Genomics Division Page