Pregnancy risk assessment survey receives $800,000 grant

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently received an $800,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help fund the Michigan Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (MI PRAMS) Survey for the next five years.

This survey asks women to confidentially share their thoughts and experiences before, during and following pregnancy to capture information about the factors leading to healthy pregnancies and healthy babies as these details are not always identified or addressed in hospitals and clinics.

“While doctors, nurses and health care professionals deliver care to expectant women in clinical settings, many factors that contribute to healthy pregnancies and healthy babies happen during everyday life,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “With this award from CDC, MI PRAMS can continue to tell the stories of Michigan’s moms and babies as we work to improve the health of mothers and their babies.”

Information from the mothers who answer Michigan PRAMS is used to enhance the understanding of emerging health issues and track progress in improving the health of mothers and infants across Michigan. These findings help to develop laws and policies, strengthen public health programs, educate health care providers and distribute resources. Examples include guidelines issued to Michigan doctors and dentists to ensure pregnant women are receiving proper oral care; implementing programs to assist Native American mothers; and including breastfeeding goals and support in the state’s infant mortality reduction plan.

In 1987, Michigan was among the first states to work with CDC on surveying a random sample of new mothers about their everyday lives. Today, almost every state conducts a version of the PRAMS survey. The MI PRAMS project provides vital information about the successes and struggles faced each year by Michigan’s mothers.

MI PRAMS recently released its 2019 Birth Year Annual Report and responses show:

About one in four (23.1 percent) Michigan mothers had one or more basic needs that were not met during pregnancy, such as adequate food, safe housing or reliable transportation.

Most mothers (84 percent) plan to follow their doctor’s exact recommendations for immunizing their new infant, although this has decreased since 2016 (88 percent).

Smoking during the last three months of pregnancy has decreased significantly over time, down from 18.9 percent of mothers in 2004 to 10.8 percent in 2019.

Marijuana use before, during and after pregnancy remained elevated in 2019 compared to prior years. One in five Michigan mothers (19.6 percent) reported any marijuana use in the year before pregnancy, up from 12.4 percent in 2016-2017. One in 15 mothers (6.5 percent) used marijuana during pregnancy; an increase from 3.1 percent in 2016-2017. One in nine mothers (10.9 percent) reported marijuana use since the birth of their new baby, an increase from 7.5 percent in 2018 and 4.8 percent in 2016-2017.

Depression is prevalent before (18.8 percent), during (17.0 percent) and following (14.8 percent) pregnancy. Over a quarter of women (28.4 percent) report anxiety in the three months before pregnancy.

Most Michigan mothers reported that, on average, they slept between four and six hours (59.8 percent) or between seven and eight hours (34.7 percent) each night. Some mothers, (3.5 percent) reported a very low amount of sleep (0 to 3 hours) per night. Very few mothers (2 percent) averaged nine or more hours of sleep each night.

Most PRAMS respondents (91.7 percent) say that they have a husband or partner. When asked about eight different types of emotional, financial and personal support, the vast majority of partners (92.1 percent) supported mothers in six or more ways.

For more information about MI PRAMS, visit Michigan. gov/PRAMS. G.G.