How do women prepare for pregnancy

How do women prepare for pregnancy? Preconception experiences of women attending antenatal services and views of health professionals.

  1. Reproductive Medicine, Institute of Women’s Health, UCL, London, United Kingdom.
  2. Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Uxbridge, United Kingdom.
  3. Infection & Population Health, Institute of Epidemiology, UCL, London, United Kingdom.
  4. University College London Hospitals, London, United Kingdom.


To determine the extent to which women plan and prepare for pregnancy.


Despite a high level of pregnancy planning, awareness of preconception health among women and health professionals is low, and responsibility for providing preconception care is unclear. However, many women are motivated to adopt healthier behaviours in the preconception period, as indicated by halving of reported smoking rates in this study. The link between health professional input and healthy behaviour change before pregnancy is a new finding that should invigorate strategies to improve awareness and uptake of pre-pregnancy health care, and bring wider benefits for public health.

Stephenson J1, Patel D1, Barrett G2, Howden B1, Copas A3, Ojukwu O1, Pandya P4, Shawe J1.

PLoS One. 2014 Jul 24;9(7):e103085. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103085. eCollection 2014.

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