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A number of factors before and after the birth of a child can create challenges to their development and school readiness. Before the birth of a child, the developing brain architecture of a fetus can be disrupted by poor maternal nutrition, exposure to a variety of hazardous substances and the adverse physiological effects of a pregnant woman’s chronic stress.
Access to prenatal health care can help identify such high-risk circumstances and provide a vehicle for addressing hazards to healthy brain development in a preventive fashion. After birth, providing access to a regular and affordable source of primary health care for mothers, infants and children is important in helping to prevent threats to the child’s healthy development, as well as provide early detection and intervention for concerns that could lead to more serious problems later in a child’s physical, developmental and mental health.
Click through the options below for more information on the state of children's physical health in Michigan, further research, and the team of community leaders, experts and advisors working in this area.