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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Promoting maternal and child health in the interconception period

Project Members

Project Lead: Chandni Jacob

Project Members: Daniella Watson, Professor Mark Hanson



The interconception period is between pregnancies or within the first 24 months postpartum. Parents are more easily engaged with health messages and healthcare professionals are more easily defined during the interconception period. for this projects, we conducted a scoping review which found 47 documents with health guidelines, 29 reviews and 6 pilot studies on interconception and postpartum care. Interconception care opportunities included risk assessments in routine visits, family planning centres, community groups, local authorities and charities, and the need for future research on the long-term benefits. The recommendations included nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions, behaviour change communication training for health professionals, continuity of care and a person-centred approach, and a multi-stakeholder approach. Healthcare systems need to harness opportunities available in the interconception and postpartum period to improve life-course health for the mother and also the next generation.


Anticipated policy impacts

The project has highlighted opportunities in routine care to engage with prospective parents. These findings can support the current UK women's health strategy and currently, a workshop with UK Parliamentarians is being planned to disseminate results.



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