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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Language used in interconception health, led by Dr Danielle Schoenaker and colleagues

Working with the public to inform meaningful language to communicate about health and well-being before pregnancy and parenthood – aka preconception health

Preconception health refers to the health and health behaviours of all people during the years they can have a child. It influences their own health and can affect the health and development of a child they may have in the future. Despite global recognition by researchers that optimising preconception health represents an opportunity to improve health and reduce inequalities across generations, this is not common knowledge among the public nor policy makers. The New Things Fund allowed me to explore how we can address a key barrier towards creating public and policy awareness: the lack of meaningful language to communicate about “preconception health”.


The project

During the past few months, Danielle organised and facilitated small group discussions with over 50 members of the public aged 18-50. The groups were diverse and included people with different gender identities and cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and people who already had children, had experienced recurrent pregnancy loss, and lived with a long-term condition. We talked about why being healthy before trying to have a baby is important, and how we may best communicate about this.



Read the blog here

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