18 February 2009

Pre-conception care: useful or a crock?

In an interesting study recently published in the British Medical Journal, it seems that women of childbearing age in the UK (20-34 years old) are less likely to follow pre-pregnancy recommendations such as decreasing the consumption of alcohol, taking folic acid supplements and quitting smoking. Of the 12, 445 women in the study, only 2.9% were taking folic acid supplements and having fewer than 4 drinks per week three month before conception. The authors of the study pin this down to young women being less inclined to want to change their pre-pregnancy lifestyles. The authors also suggest that public health messages about pre-conception care are not getting to women. I wonder if it's really just a lack of appropriate communication of public health messages or if women are just actively resisting the overly prescriptive rules and regulations surrounding pregnancy (from pre-conception to post-birth). Increasingly, women are being told to treat their bodies as if they could be pregnant at any time and I think this fits in nicely with all of the moral panics about motherhood and fertility for young women in their 20s.

I'm interested as to whether any of you following pre-conception care closely or if you think it's all a load of bollocks?

Source: British Medical Journal, Online First, February 13, 2009.


Olivia said...

The only thing I did differntly was take a pre-natal vitamin, and avoid alcohol after ovulation for a couple of weeks. But, I was planning to get pregnant. I think one of the reasons a lot of women, especially 20-24 yr olds, don't follow the recommendations is because they aren't planning to get pregnant. I certainly didn't live my life like I could get pregnant at any time during my early 20s.

Michelle said...

I agree with Olivia...We planned our pregnancy down to the day and I followed all pre-pregnancy recommendations. It is not easy to follow before you know you are pregnant, but it is well worth it!

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