Table 1.

Summary of 10 Key Recommendations to Improve Preconception Health

1Individual responsibility across the life span. Encourage each woman and every couple to have a reproductive life plan.
2Consumer awareness. Increase public awareness of the importance of preconception health behaviors and increase individuals’ use of preconception care services using information and tools appropriate across varying age, literacy, health literacy, and cultural/linguistic contexts.
3Preventive visits. As a part of primary care visits, provide risk assessment and counseling (education and health promotion) to all women of childbearing age to reduce risks related to the outcomes of pregnancy.
4Interventions for identified risks. Increase the proportion of women who receive interventions as follow up to preconception risk screening, focusing on high priority interventions (ie, those with high population impact and sufficient evidence of effectiveness).
5Interconception care. Use the interconception period to provide intensive interventions to women who have had a prior pregnancy ending in adverse outcome (eg, infant death, low birthweight, or preterm birth).
6Prepregnancy check ups. Offer, as a component of maternity care, one pre-pregnancy visit for couples planning pregnancy.
7Health coverage for low-income women. Increase Medicaid coverage among low-income women to improve access to preventive women’s health, preconception, and interconception care.
8Public health programs and strategies. Infuse and integrate components of preconception health into existing local public health and related programs, including emphasis on those with prior adverse outcomes.
9Research. Augment research knowledge related to preconception health.
10Monitoring improvements. Maximize public health surveillance and related research mechanisms to monitor preconception health.