NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health commissioned this report (www.nhsggc.org.uk/preparedforpregnancyreport) which expresses the views of its author, not NHSGGC.
The poor pregnancy statistics highlighted in the report mirror Glasgow and Scotland’s poor health profile and reinforce the need to tackle those stubborn issues we know affect health: poverty and deprivation; disparities in educational attainment; meaningful employment; healthy behaviours; access to healthy foods.
It would be all too easy for policymakers to take the easy path of exclusively addressing pre-conception health through advice for individual behaviour changes. That would create wider inequalities in health as evidence shows that reproductive life plans are more likely to be taken by the most affluent, educated women.
The report highlights the importance of this issue. At present there is no international evidence of effective interventions that improve pre-conception health of both future parents, the pregnancy outcomes and the health of the child. There is clearly a need to work with the wider international networks to create an evidence base for effective interventions.