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January 2023: Birth Defects Awareness Month

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

WHEREAS, approximately 12,970 children in Michigan are diagnosed annually with a birth defect within one year of birth; and,

WHEREAS, birth defects can occur in any family regardless of race, ethnicity, health history, or economic status; and,

WHEREAS, early identification of a child with a birth defect coupled with early intervention services can improve the child’s quality of life; and,

WHEREAS, affordable, accessible, and culturally responsive health care in birth defect diagnoses is needed to address unmet health needs, delays in receiving appropriate care, and obtaining preventative services; and,

WHEREAS, absence of health insurance coverage increases the likelihood that individuals with a birth defect may have poorer health status, be diagnosed with a condition later in life, and die prematurely; and,

WHEREAS, access to regular preconception and prenatal care reduces the chance that a child will be born with a birth defect; and,

WHEREAS, taking a daily vitamin with folic acid before and during pregnancy, planning a visit with your health care provider, reducing your risk of infections, caring for your body and mind, and avoiding the use of alcohol or drugs increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy;

NOW THEREFORE, I Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim January 2023 as Birth Defects Awareness Month in Michigan.