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Type: Journal article
Title: Preconception health and lifestyle behaviours of women planning a pregnancy: a cross-sectional study
Author: Chivers, B.R.
Boyle, J.A.
Lang, A.Y.
Teede, H.J.
Moran, L.J.
Harrison, C.L.
Citation: Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2020; 9(6):1701-1-1701-14
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2077-0383
Statement of
Bonnie R. Chivers, Jacqueline A. Boyle, Adina Y. Lang, Helena J. Teede, Lisa J. Moran, and Cheryce L. Harrison
Abstract: Preconception care and lifestyle behaviours significantly influence health outcomes of women and future generations. A cross-sectional survey of Australian women in preconception, stratified by pregnancy planning stage (active planners (currently trying to conceive) vs. non-active planners (pregnancy planned within 1-5 years)), assessed health behaviours and their alignment to preconception care guidelines. Overall, 294 women with a mean (SD) age of 30.7 (4.3) years were recruited and 38.9% were overweight or obese. Approximately half of women (54.4%) reported weight gain within the previous 12 months, of which 69.5% gained ≥ 3kg. The vast majority of women (90.2%) were unaware of reproductive life plans, and 16.8% over the age of 25 had not undertaken cervical screening. Of active planners (n = 121), 47.1% had sought medical/health advice in preparation for pregnancy and 81.0% had commenced supplementation with folic acid, iodine or a preconception multivitamin. High-risk lifestyle behaviours including cigarette smoking (7.3%), consumption of alcohol (85.3%) and excessive alcohol consumption within three months (56.3%), were frequently reported in women who were actively trying to conceive. Results indicate that women who are actively planning a pregnancy require support to optimise health and lifestyle in preparation for pregnancy to improve alignment with current preconception care recommendations.
Keywords: Preconception; health behaviours; pregnancy planning; women’s health; clinical care guidelines
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9061701
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