Pre-conception health: how nurses can educate women to promote informed choices

We should make pre-conception health, education and care part of our practice

We should make pre-conception health, education and care part of the fabric of our nursing practice, says Joan Gracie

In Scotland, too many women and men who don’t want a child at all, or who might want one in the future, end up conceiving unexpectedly.

Roughly half of all pregnancies in Scotland are unintended or mistimed, and about 25% of all pregnancies in the country result in a termination, miscarriage, stillbirth, critically ill infant or a child with life-limiting birth defects .

Many adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes that are potentially preventable still go unprevented. Most neural tube defects are preventable by having adequate blood folate levels at the


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