Pregnancy outcomes are influenced by preconception health, lifestyle and personal history. In fact, by the time many women know they are pregnant, it may be too late to prevent some birth defects, for example neural tube defects. Yes research shows that preconception health is not always addressed with people in age of becoming parents. The first step in building capacity among primary health care providers is to understand their current attitudes and practices regarding preconception health.
This report is part of a series of 3 Preconception health reports, and compares data from Ontario-wide surveys of men and women of childbearing age in order to explore issues around preconception health. It examines the trends from 2001 to 2008 for preconception awareness and behaviours, and makes recommendations relevant to local and provincial preconception initiatives. The information will help service providers to determine key messages, populations of interest, and to select effective preconception interventions.