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Preconception Health - Information for Healthcare Providers

As a healthcare professional, every contact that you have with an individual of reproductive age lends a unique opportunity to assess and discuss preconception health information.1

It is important to consider that preconception care is beneficial to all individuals of reproductive age, regardless of whether or not they plan to become parents.2 General preconception health care includes an assessment and discussion of topics such as healthy eating, physical activity, immunization status, reproductive life planning, substance use, chronic medical conditions, and exposure to environmental toxins.3

Evidence suggests that preconception care can improve maternal and child health outcomes. More specifically, preconception health can:

  • prevent preterm births;
  • improve birth weight;
  • prevent congenital anomalies, including neural tube defects;
  • reduce infant mortality;
  • reduce maternal mortality.4
 

Patient Handouts

 

Key Documents and Best Practice Guidelines and References

 

Point of Care Tool

Preconception Health Care Tool
A resource for primary care providers designed to help guide discussions about health and illness prevention strategies with all patients of reproductive age.

 

Programs and Services

Birth Control Clinics
Birth Control Clinics are offered in London and Strathroy. Birth control options, pregnancy testing and counseling, and emergency contraception are available.

Family Health Clinic
Nurse practitioner services are available within London and Middlesex County for families with young children (6 years old and under) without a family doctor. This service is also available for high school students. No health card is required.

Health Connection
The Health Unit offers a variety of programs and services to support young families. Healthcare providers and patients can call the Health Connection at 519-663-5317 ext. 2280 to speak with a Public Health Nurse and receive telephone support during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.).

 
Date of creation: November 21, 2016
Last modified on: June 2, 2017

References

1Ontario Public Health Association. (2014). Shift- Enhancing the health of Ontarians: A call to action for preconception health promotion and care. Toronto, ON.
2World Health Organization. Meeting to develop a global census on preconception care to reduce maternal and childhood mortality and morbidity. Geneva (CH); 2013. 77p. Report No.:ISBN 978 92 4 150500 0.
3Moos MK, Dunlop AL, Jack BW, Nelson L, Coonrod DV, Long R, et al.
4World Health Organization. Preconception care: maximizing the gains for maternal and child health [pamphlet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013.
5Healthier women, healthier reproductive outcomes: recommendations for the routine care of all women of reproductive age. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2008; 199(6 Suppl 2):S280-S289.