Interconception care

Edwina Dorney, Danielle Mazza, Kirsten I. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The importance of interconception care - defined as care given to women, and their partners, between one pregnancy and thenext to optimise their health - is increasingly important, with rising rates ofoverweight, obesity, diabetes and hypertension among people of reproductive age. Women frequently visit their general practitioner (GP) in the first six months postpartum. This is an opportune time to discuss ideal interpregnancy intervals (IPIs) and advise women about contraception and healthy behaviours. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article is to review available research and guidelines on interconception care and IPIs, and propose best-practice care for the general practice setting. DISCUSSION: GPs are uniquely placed to deliver the different aspects of interconception care including reviewing the outcomes of the previous pregnancy, advising women on optimal IPIs and providing contraception and lifestyle guidance. Studies have found that GPs may feel they lack the time and resources to provide interconception care, but support is available through online tools and easy-to-access checklists. As the prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases increases, interconception care has the potential to reduce future adverse perinatal outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • birth intervals
  • chronic disease
  • contraception
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • postpartum period
  • preconception care
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy outcome
  • referral and consultation

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