CHAPEL HILL, N.C., May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC), a national public-private partnership working to promote preconception wellness and life planning, published strategies to reduce maternal and infant mortality through integrating preconception care into primary and opportunistic health care visits. Using an every women, every time approach, this ZERO TO THREE publication explains how birth outcomes can improve by reaching women at every encounter—beyond the well visit setting. Read the full article, titled "A Paradigm Shift in Preconception and Interconception Care: Using Every Encounter to Improve Birth Outcomes" here: http://buff.ly/2pZaGDs. ZERO TO THREE, a PCHHC partner, is a national nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.
Authored by Daniel Frayne, MD, co-chair of the PCHHC Clinical Workgroup and medical director of the Mountain Area Health Education Center's Family Health Centers, the paper offers ways health systems can identify and reduce preconception health risks, creating a paradigm shift toward assessing pregnancy desires and risks at every encounter and in every setting to best support a woman's plans for her future
"The concept of preconception (health before pregnancy) has not resonated well with young adults; verified by the almost half of unintended (mistimed or unwanted) pregnancies in the US," says Frayne. "For more than four decades, responsibility for preconception counselling has been pinned to the well woman visit, rather than a collaborative effort by all providers. Shared responsibility for preconception care is important, irrespective of specialty or setting."
PCHHC is tackling these issues through a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary, multi-sector approach. Diana E. Ramos, MD, MPH, co-chair PCHHC Clinical Workgroup, underscores the importance of employing strategies across health systems, communities, public health sectors and consumers to advance the health of young adults.
"PCHHC actively engages communities, health systems, and unites leaders and organizations across the country to elevate these critical messages and set the direction for work needed to be done," Ramos says. Learn more about key messages and strategies on their health provider resource, www.beforeandbeyond.org. For information about how PCHHC engages with communities and consumers, visit their Show Your Love consumer resource at www.showyourlovetoday.com.
"In the US, infant mortality remains relatively unchanged and maternal mortality is rising. The time is now to change our approach to preconception care," says Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH, senior advisor, PCHHC. As the article reports, "A healthy woman leads to a healthier pregnancy which leads to healthier birth outcomes then to healthier children and families, healthier communities and a healthier nation."
For more information about the article, PCHHC, or programs within each Workgroup, email Sarah Verbiest SarahV@med.unc.edu.
The National Preconception Health and Health Care (PCHHC) is a public-private partnership of over 70 organizations focused on improving the health of young women and men and any children they may choose to have. PCHHC is coordinated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Maternal and Infant Health (UNC CMIH).
PCHHC Initiative's vision is that "all women and men of reproductive age will achieve optimal health and wellness, fostering a healthy life course for them and any children they may have."
UNC Center for Maternal & Infant Health
SOURCE National Preconception Health and Health Care (PCHHC)