Report Examines Infant, Mother Health In Michigan

The Michigan League for Public Policy has released its latest report on infant and mother health in the state. The league’s Amber Bellazaire tells WSJM News the Right Start 2020 report considered several things when ranking the states.

“Michigan ranks about 36th in infant mortality and 30th in maternal mortality when we compare ourselves to other states,” Bellazaire said.

Michigan ranks 36th out of the 50 states for infant mortality and 30th for maternal mortality. Bellazaire says the report found a major racial disparity.

“Proposing to invest in paid parental leave for state employees would be a great start. We know that paid parental leave is great for employers, parents, and their children. Extending Medicaid coverage for postpartum women is an important step, and ensuring that women have continuing health coverage before, during, and after pregnancy.”

Berrien County’s infant mortality rate is 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. That’s close to the overall state’s average of 6.8. Bellazaire says economic opportunities and access to nearby healthcare facilities factor into the infant mortality rate. The league’s report says Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget lays out several initiatives that would improve infant and mother health, like increased access to childcare and home visits. The league also recommends increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can find the report right here.