The Importance Of Preconception Care

911 Words 4 Pages
This health policy attempts to reduce the number of adverse birth outcomes caused by a dearth of preconception care. The evidence-based interventions suggested in the policy are primarily focused on education and testing. Attainable education-based interventions include a focus on nutrition related to folic acid and iron intake, avoidance of environmental hazards such as pesticides, lead, and methyl mercury in fish, and family planning initiatives including birth spacing and contraceptive methods. Testing, when it is feasible to do so prior to conception, gives mothers and babies the healthiest start possible. Testing should be conducted for genetic conditions, underlying causes of infertility, STIs and HIV, and proof of vaccination from serious …show more content…
131). Nurses play a pivotal role in assessing risks, providing interventions, encouraging health promoting behaviors, assuring patient participation and referring to specialists where indicated to improve both maternal and fetal outcomes (Hurst & Linton, 2015; Sanders, 2009). The areas of concern with respect to preconception care should be considered at every office visit. Freda (2006) advocates that preconception care is best conducted when integrated into primary health care rather than as a separate entity, considering almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned. A lack of standards and guidelines related to inclusive preconception care results in gaps of care and missed opportunities for intervention. Hurst & Linton (2015) advise that a woman’s reproductive plan be reviewed at every office visit (based on a CDC recommendation), as well as a standard set of questions be asked to every woman of child bearing age to assess the major influential factors of preconception …show more content…
The capstone of this policy is that it brings health benefits to men, women, and adolescents irrespective of their plans for parenthood (WHO). With 40% of births unplanned worldwide, the call to action for preconception care to be integrated into primary care is paramount. The WHO’s preconception care package contains globally applicable interventions that should be implemented in all forms of healthcare settings worldwide. Opposition to preconception care is often financially or resource based. However some of the simplest interventions such as supplementation of adequate folic acid intake can prevent life threatening and debilitating conditions caused by neutral tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. The capital spent on proper preconception care and education outweighs the cost deficits that would be incurred when having to treat afflicted children or mothers for otherwise preventable conditions. Nurses harness the power to encourage this WHO policy in various realms of nursing. Whether it is the nurse practitioner integrating it into their office visit, the nurse midwife addressing family planning after a delivery, or a floor nurse discharging a woman after a new health diagnosis, the opportunity for discussion of preconception care exists in all

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