In observance of November as Prematurity Awareness Month and World
Prematurity Day on Nov. 17, Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center are
encouraging area moms-to-be to take advantage of a powerful and free nonprofit
program that is helping moms throughout the city deliver healthy full-term babies on or
after their due date.
Premature babies can face serious health challenges throughout their lives. The city’s
Make Your Date program provides a consistent approach among local health care
providers in how they deliver support and care to expectant mothers to help them carry
their babies to full term. The initiative was launched in May by Mayor Mike Duggan,
Wayne State University, Detroit’s leading health systems and other key partners.
Sign up is easy: Visit www.makeyourdate.org or call 313-577-1000.
The Make Your Date campaign asks expectant mothers to do three simple things:
• Make a doctor’s appointment to begin regular checkups.
• Work with their Make Your Date Provider to develop a healthy mom, healthy
baby plan, which includes everything from testing and treatment to nutrition and
• Join group prenatal care or pregnancy education classes, where they can share
questions, ideas and concerns and learn more about their pregnancy.
In celebration of Prematurity Awareness Month, individuals and organizations are
encouraged to further the mission and donate to this important program. Go to
http://www.makeyourdate.org/donate/ to make a tax-deductible contribution.
“The Make Your Date program already has shown its effectiveness in getting women
connected to help them carry their babies to full term. Every at-risk expectant mother
should take advantage of the medical and peer support this wonderful program
provides,” said Mayor Duggan.
“Being born full term is critical to long-term health,” said Sonia Hassan, M.D., associate
dean for Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health for the Wayne State University School of
Medicine and co-leader of the Make Your Date program. “Babies born preterm have a
higher risk of breathing complications, cerebral palsy and difficulty in school. We want
Detroit moms to know they can get the care they need, to give their babies the greatest
chance at a healthy start.”
In Detroit, 18 percent of babies are born prematurely, nearly 6 percent higher than the
state average. Studies show that low birth weight accounts for almost 50 percent of the
city’s infant mortality rate of 14 deaths in every 1,000 births, twice the national average.
Researchers at the Perinatology Research Branch (PRB) of the of the Eunice Kennedy
Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development of the National
Institutes of Health, which is housed at Wayne State University and Hutzel Women’s
Hospital in the Detroit Medical Center, have made seminal discoveries in the prevention
of preterm birth over the past 22 years.
“The prevention of preterm birth is a major priority for the PRB,” said Dr. Roberto
Romero, Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch. “We are committed to supporting
the efforts to reduce preterm birth in the City of Detroit and abroad.”
Learn how your business or organization can get involved to make a real difference to
our moms, families, and neighborhoods. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Make Your Date
The mission of the Make Your Date campaign is to implement evidence-based strategies
to reduce the rate of preterm birth. This strategy is executed through education,
collaboration and partnerships with health care systems, universities and other
established programs. For more information, visit http://www.makeyourdate.org or call 313-577-1000.