Preconception health is key for healthy parents and children

Rebecca Krispin Uncategorised

A new Preconception Health Network (PHN) was set up in 2021 to promote best practice in preconception health promotion and care.

Health status at the time of conception is a predictor of pregnancy outcomes and the future health of parents and children. 

Optimising health for conception can prevent pregnancy complications and chronic disease later in life for all family members.

The network is led by Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle from Monash University, and Professor Kirsten Black from the University of Sydney.

“The main aims of the PHN are to improve preconception health care by promoting collaboration and integration across the domains of research, policy, consumer engagement, health, social care and advocacy,” said Professor Black. 

The PHN will promote research and collaboration on a national level across all sectors involved in healthcare – from health and social care providers to researchers, government and educational organisations.

The vision of the network is that all people of reproductive age will have optimal health and wellbeing to protect their reproductive health, future pregnancies and future health. 

In July this year the PHN held their inaugural event to introduce key members, set priorities and develop a plan for their initial activities.

The event included a workshop to design research priorities, which involved a wide range of Victorian stakeholders from social care, medicine, nursing and midwifery, research and not for profit organisations, as well as consumers.

Projects for the coming 12 months will include a scoping review of preconception health guidelines in Australia, and co-editing a special edition of the Seminars in Reproductive Medicine journal on Preconception Health.

This special edition, to be published in 2022, will bring together research from experts around the world who are focused on equity of access to preconception health. 

This exciting collaboration welcomes health professionals, health advocates, researchers and community members to get involved. 

The network aims to include those who are culturally and linguistically diverse, living with a disability, gender diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For more information or to get involved, email