Mothers smoking during pregnancy increased since 2008, disparities exist by race & place

photo-for-profilesA mother’s health is inextricably connected to the future health of her child. Whether she is able to access adequate prenatal care, visit the dentist or shop for healthy foods is important during her pregnancy. As is living in a community environment without stress—clean air and water, low crime rates, parks and a robust public transportation system, for example. Understanding that poverty—and concentrated poverty—and racism have toxic impacts on a mother’s health. Race and place influence the health and well-being of both mothers and babies. Disparate outcomes in health are apparent by race and ethnicity. Systems need to provide support and build on mothers’ resiliency.

The annual Right Start: Maternal and Child Health report reviews eight indicators by county and for the 69 largest cities and townships in the state. This year’s report is focused on the significant increase of mother’s who report smoking during pregnancy. Overall, the rate has increased by over 6% from 2008 to 2014. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with preterm births, babies with low birthweight, infant deaths and other complications. Babies born too early or too small are likely to experience immediate health concerns, but also long-term issues.

Revised Report | State News Release | Blog

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Online Data

The latest data on the Right Start indicators are available for all 69 cities with over 25,000 population and all 83 Michigan counties on the KIDS COUNT Data Center.