Preconception Care Resources: Where to Start

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Preconception health care and reproductive life planning are essential to improving women's health and reducing poor birth outcomes. Preconception health care and education provide opportunities to identify risk factors related to family health history, preexisting medical conditions, body weight, nutrition, physical activity, and immunization status. Modifiable risk factors can be mitigated, thereby improving the health of a woman before she becomes pregnant. Preconception health covers a broad range of topics and may be difficult to incorporate into the busy schedules of health care providers. National and state resources have been developed to help health care providers assist women and men of reproductive age (including adolescents) in developing a reproductive life plan, identifying risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes, and providing education and resources to assist in addressing risk factors prior to pregnancy. The current amount of literature available on preconception and interconception health can be overwhelming. This article presents some key screening tools and resources that are available to assist busy health care providers and staff. Some of these resources can be obtained at little or no cost and tailored to individual practices.

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