To date, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that a systematic and coordinated approach to prepregnancy care might make a difference.
To evaluate whether women who receive preconception care through a structured approach will be more likely to be healthy around the time of conception compared with women who plan their pregnancy but have not been exposed to preconception care.
A case control study was undertaken of women who attended the preconception care service and subsequently conceived, received maternity care and gave birth at Mater Health Services Brisbane between January 2010 and January 2013. Pregnancy information and birth outcomes for each woman who attended the service were matched with those of three women who reported that they had planned their pregnancy but did not attend the service. Records were matched for prepregnancy BMI, age, parity, prepregnancy smoking status and number of health conditions.
Pregnant women who attended preconception care were more likely to have received adequate peri‐conceptual folate, to report being vaccinated against influenza and hepatitis B, to have consulted with a specialist with the specific aim of optimising a pre‐existing health condition and to report less weight gain up until booking. Preterm birth and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were less common amongst women who had attended preconception care, and there were trends towards a decreased incidence of gestational diabetes, LGA and fetal anomalies.
These preliminary data provide some optimism that a comprehensive preconception care service may positively influence maternal and neonatal outcomes.