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Women's Health Toolkit - Overview

What is (PIC)ture Perfect Health?

(PIC)ture Perfect Health was developed for you to meet you right where you are in life. We want you to be healthy whether you want to be pregnant or want to avoid pregnancy all together. This toolkit holds resources to important health topics that will help you reach your health goal. While it is centered around preconception and interconception care for women, there is information here for everyone. This overview explains how preconception and interconception care can help you achieve (PIC)ture Perfect Health.

What is Preconception Health?

Whether you are (PIC)turing pregnancy or not, you may be wondering why does this matter to me? Preconception health is the health of men and women during their reproductive years. Even if you don’t see yourself having children anytime soon, preconception care focuses on getting you healthy now so you can remain healthy throughout your life.

Approximately half of all pregnancies are unplanned, leaving those mothers no time to adjust their health for their baby. Having good preconception health despite planning for a pregnancy will increase your chances of healthy pregnancy outcomes. Babies with healthy parents are more likely to be born without birth defects, and less likely to be low birth weight or preterm.

Preconception health encompasses all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, it was based on the Life Course perspective. Life course refers to health as a continuum where all aspects of a person’s behavior, environment, biology, psychology and social interactions can impact their health further in life. Preconception health encourages good health behaviors such as eating healthy and exercising to be at a healthy weight, reduction of substance use, condom use to decrease risk of STIs, etc. By optimizing your health in each of the ten topic areas we have provided, you can increase your health and the future of others.

What is Interconception Health?

Interconception is the time between pregnancies. Evidence shows there should be 18 months in-between pregnancies to reduce birth complications. In this time it is important to get your body ready for pregnancy again through the same methods used in preconception care. Your total body health will help your next child have higher chances of being born healthy.

What is a Reproductive Life Plan?

A reproductive life plan all starts with you asking yourself if you would like to have children. Regardless of if you and your partner want children, a reproductive life plan will help you either prepare for conception or help you create a plan to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. At a general health or well women visit a provider should be able to provide you the tools to create a plan for your future whether you are (PIC)turing pregnancy or just want (PIC)ture Perfect Health.

Preconception Health and Health Care-CDC

Page Updated: 8/9/2017