Clinicians and Patients Work Together to Improve Preconception Health in the U.S.

Posted June 14, 2016 by Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH

Show Your Love Campaign
The PCHHC's Show Your Love initiative aims to improve preconception care by teaching people how to manage their health.

Fostering the creation of healthy families by choice, not chance, is not a new idea. Healthy People 2020 established family planning goals aimed at improving pregnancy planning, spacing and preventing unintended pregnancy. Further, in its recommendations for preconception care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the national initiative encourage men and women to create a reproductive life plan (RLP) to help avoid unintended pregnancies, to improve the health of women and men, and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. Given the high rates of unintended pregnancy in the U.S., action is needed from all stakeholders—consumers, health providers, policy makers—in proactively supporting this critical conversation.

The National Preconception Health and Healthcare Initiative (PCHHC), a public-private partnership of over 70 U.S. organizations, is taking a multi-sector, multi-faceted approach to establish measurable best practices in preconception health care in the U.S. The PCHHC’s five workgroups—consumer, clinical, policy & finance, surveillance and data, and public health—are on a mission to help young adults achieve their optimal health and wellness, fostering healthy life courses for themselves and any children they may have. The emphasis is particularly on young adults in underserved populations.

This year, the PCHHC Clinical Workgroup published nine clinical measures that health systems and clinics should be using to index preconception wellness. The workgroup is collaborating with healthcare clinics and systems to test measures and systems for addressing preconception health—for every woman, every time. Read more about the Preconception Care Measures.

Healthcare providers can start the conversation during primary care, outpatient, annual and hospital visits to ensure that they are providing quality, patient-centered care. Reproductive life planning can also be introduced in community settings through home visiting programs, job training, family support programs, church programs, sororities and other initiatives.

The question is easy. Try the following one key question (from the Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health): “Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?" Other questions to ask are, “Do you want to have (more) children?” or “How many (more) children would you like to have and when?”

Enabling clinicians to provide optimal care is a critical step towards improving preconception care in the U.S., as is encouraging young adults to understand and take action in their personal health management. Recognizing the necessity of pairing clinical care with patient education and resources, the PCHHC Consumer Workgroup conducted formative research to understand women’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors as they relates to preconception health. Building on this work, the consumer workgroup is launching Show Your Love, the first national preconception health resource and social media campaign designed to promote wellbeing and support young adults in achieving their healthy-living goals. The resource is meant to go beyond sharing information about key preconception messages, providing personalized resources to allow patients to take control of their health.

As part of Show Your Love, the PCHHC recruits ambassadors to create an online support system and share their questions, dreams, goals and health journeys through social media.
PCH Chat Campaign
Join the PCHHC's discussion about men's roles in preconception care. 

In the U.S., there is significant synergy growing around this work, including efforts through state Title V programs. Attention to the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults is critical for the health of our current society and generations to come.


NICHQ has partnered with the PCHHC on both initiatives, and has been a key partner in driving forward this consumer work. Read more about the Show Your Love resource, social media campaign and Ambassador Program here: www.showyourlovetoday.com.

Join the conversation!
The PCHHC is leading a Men’s Health Month twitter chat to shed lights on men’s roles in preconception care. Join the conversation June 16th 1-2 p.m. ET using #PCHchat on Twitter. Learn more here.

Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH, is the director of the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative.

Share:

Add your comment

 
 

 

Archive

Tagcloud

Baby-Friendly breastfeeding Pediatric journal Best Fed Beginnings infant health safe sleep IM CoIIN QI quality improvement flexibility family partner parent partner vision screening nichq perinatal quality measures sustainabilty preterm birth tips PDSA cycle baby box infant mortality family engagement eccs coiin immunizations health equity health disparities accreditation astho onboarding collaboration engagement partnerships larc nashp new york wic new york state hospitals mom mother partners epilepsy data AAP early childhood pdsas texas community support learning session children's health new technology engineering transgender collaborative learning planning PDSA planning paralysis underplanning analysis paralysis vision eye health smoking smoke-free housing second-hand smoke toolkit e-module dental care oral health underserved populations health inequity public health Maternal and Child Health Journal leadership engagement Sickle cell disease indiana SCD medicaid perinatal regionalization sudden infant death syndrome national birth defects prevention month birth defects pregnancy planning one key question prepregnancy health preconception health public breastfeeding support families patients experts insights CHOPT childhood obesity innovation food desert telemedicine TBLC breastfeeding supporting prematurity racial disparities audiology ehdi follow-up illinois talana hughes vulnerable populations sports asthma soccer basketball obesity football SIDS Pokemon Go gamification smartphones interconception care birth spacing issue brief contraceptive use postpartum care CoIN HRSA early childhood trauma NHSA community health consumer advocacy womens health interconception health teenage health PATCH wisconsin missouri risk appropriate care community health workers SCD< infographic infant mortality awareness month inspirations childrens health national breastfeeding month maternal health patient engagement hearing loss hearing treatment pediatric vision eyesight pre-term birth early-term birth SCD clinic los angeles LOCATe CDC levels of care neonatal care maternal care smoking cessation project safe sleep practices neonatal abstinence syndrome NAS opioids maternal and child health MCH Family voices quality care mental health hydroxyurea SCDTDP men dads testing change data sharing state government city government apps sleep AJPM preconception care senior leadership breastfeeding support video series access BQIH exclusive breastfeeding long-acting reversible contraception unplanned pregnancies social determinants of health health innovations Best Babies Zone CoIIN baby boxes Rhode Island progesterone rooming-in patient and family engagement healthy weight healthy lifestyles primary care telementoring ECHO video conferencing socioemotional health childhood development pediatric Tennessee interview National Coordinating and Evaluation Center medical-legal partnerships mobile app disparities perinatal care overweight obese healthy weight clinic wellness pilot sites data collection education resources paternal engagement risk-appropriate care preterm infants high-risk babies Ten Steps public relations social movement reversible contraceptives medical home pediatric medical home patient transformation facilitator PTF skin-to-skin rooming in prenatal smoking information visualization charts SUID postpartum new mother webinar AMCHP QI Tips ongoing improvement fourth trimester partnership quality and safety coaching leadership support year end holiday message reflections gratitute Medicaid data doctor relationship PQC perinatal quality collaboratives vision care vision health evidence-based guidelines ASH health and wellness healthy living healthy eating home visitors home visiting programs March of Dimes APHA results evaluation supplementation formula reduction video infant loss social media advocacy leadership Berns Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding sustainability stress prenatal care data capacity epidemiologists surveillance data PFAC community partners preconception and interconception care motivational interviewing Native Americans ADHD NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale ADHD Toolkit system design care coordination skin to skin newborn screening reduce smoking aim statement safe birth Texas Ten Step skin-to-skin contact 10 Steps staff training small tests acute care mother-baby couplet collective impact population health preconception Newborn Screening Program substance abuse breast milk formula milk bank crisis first responders NYC improvement healthcare health system sickle cell diease treatment protocol family health partner maternity care Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network Health Outcomes Cross-Sector Collaboration Knowledge Sharing Child Health