IN THE MATTER OF PROCLAIMING NOVEMBER 2022 PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH
WHEREAS, preterm birth is the delivery of an infant before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and it often results in babies born too small and with complications that can last a lifetime.
Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant mortality before year 1 in the United States and the preterm birth rate in many Central Valley counties ranks above the California state average; and
WHEREAS, racial and ethnic disparities exist with a rate of 9.4 for white women and 15.2 for Black women and Black infant mortality is more than two times the rate of white infants in the County of Fresno.
Decreasing the racial disparities in preterm birth requires collaboration among local, state, and federal governments, healthcare systems, providers, and social service organizations, and equitable investments in the services, programs, and environmental conditions that impact Black, Indigenous, and birthing persons
of color; and
WHEREAS, doulas are non-medical providers within the healthcare system with a specialized role who provide continuous support for pregnant persons throughout pregnancy, birth, and after birth, and have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of preterm birth by up to 49% and have also reduced the risk of preventable infant and maternal mortality for women of color; and
WHEREAS, breastmilk is rich in nutrients critical to brain growth, infection prevention, and nervous system development for infants; women, particularly Black women, with doula support are 10.5 times more likely to breastfeed ; and
WHEREAS, 80% of maternal deaths are preventable, no woman or baby should experience a preventable preterm birth , and no woman or baby should die from a preventable death.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fresno County Board of Supervisors hereby
proclaim November 2022 Prematurity Awareness Month and encourages all citizens to be aware of the effects of preterm birth and the ways in which we can work together to combat it.