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Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2013;74:63-73. doi: 10.1159/000348402. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Importance of intervening in the preconception period to impact pregnancy outcomes.

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  • 1Division of Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University Karachi, Pakistan.


Preconception care that begins in adolescence and is provided before and between pregnancies has the potential to impact 136 million women who give birth each year and ensure that newborns receive the healthiest start possible. Providing simple interventions before pregnancy can prevent a significant proportion of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Interventions to promote adolescent health and prevent teenage pregnancies, encourage contraceptive use and appropriate birth spacing, optimize weight and micronutrient status, and screen for and manage chronic conditions have proven efficacy. These interventions must now be scaled up to maximize delivery. Women who receive preconception care are more likely to adopt healthy behaviors, and therefore have better pregnancy outcomes. Preconception care is particularly effective when men are involved and care is provided in the community setting. All healthcare providers can and should begin to provide preconception care to all adolescent girls, women and couples of reproductive age by asking them if they wish to become pregnant or are actively trying to prevent pregnancy.

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