This knowledge path directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources
that analyze data, describe effective programs, and report on policy
and research aimed at improving access to and quality of preconception
and prenatal care to improve perinatal health outcomes. This knowledge
path can be used by
health professionals, program administrators, policymakers, and researchers
to learn more about preconception and pregnancy, for program development,
and to locate training
resources and information to answer specific questions. A separate brief lists resources for families.
This knowledge path has been
developed by the MCH Library at Georgetown University and will be updated
periodically. View Related
MCH Library Resources for guides about childbirth, fertility and
infertility, medications, nutrition during preconception and pregnancy, and more.
for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access. Links to evidence reports and research findings about maternal
health and pregnancy.
Complicating Conditions of Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2008. (2011). [Statistical brief].
Gestational Diabetes: Caring for Women During and After Pregnancy. (2009). [Clinician's guide].
Maternal-Fetal Surgical Procedures. (2011). [Technical brief].
College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
(ACOG). Information and materials about preconception and pregnancy
for health professionals. Topics include health
care for underserved women; perinatal HIV; maternal
mortality; diabetes and pregnancy; tobacco, alcohol,
and substance abuse; and women with disabilities.
Note: Some resources on the website are accessible
to members only. Web accessible esources include
Immunization for Women. Updates and advisories on immunizations for adult and adolescent women, including those who are pregnant and breastfeeding. Includes information on seasonal flu and other vaccine-preventable diseases, immunization safety fact sheets, recommended immunization schedules, and practice-management guidelines.
- Before, Between, and Beyond Pregnancy: The National Preconception Curriculum
and Resources Guide for Clinicians. Continuing education modules, descriptions of state plans and programs for
preconception and interconception care, news, key articles and guidance
for specific high-risk conditions, and practice supports for physicians,
nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians' assistants.
- Centering Healthcare Institute: CenteringPregnancy. Information about this model for group prenatal care that integrates health assessment, education, and support to empower women to choose health-promoting behaviors. Includes a bibliography of research and evaluation studies and video clips about the model.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Division of Reproductive
Links to reports,
data, and other resources
about preconception and pregnancy, including pregnancy-related
complications, tobacco use, folic acid consumption, and emergency preparedness and response.
Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR). Reports that summarize data submitted to CDC weekly by state health departments. Search for reports on the topics by entering preconception OR pregnancy in the search field and a publication date range. Click on Search to get your
Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National data and statistics about preconception and pregnancy, including
Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
(NCBDDD). Scientific publications and tools, guidelines,
educational materials, an electronic
and information about research projects and
public health campaigns to prevent birth defects.
Topics include preconception care, folic acid consumption,
preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies, medication
during pregnancy, diabetes and pregnancy, using family history
information in obstetrics and pediatrics, preventing
infections during pregnancy, and genetics counseling.
Other resources and initiatives about preconception and pregnancy from CDC:
Group B Strep. Guidelines, clinical tools, and patient-education materials for obstetric and neonatal health professionals and laboratory professionals about preventing
perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease.
Guidelines for the Identification and Management of Lead Exposure in Pregnant and Lactating Women. (2010).
Guidelines for Vaccinating Pregnant Women. Information about vaccinating pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
Test, Two Lives. Resources for health professionals
and materials for their patients to help encourage
universal voluntary prenatal testing for HIV.
Responding to Influenza: A Toolkit for Prenatal Care Providers. (2011).
Also see CDC's Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), Pregnancy Surveillance System (PNSS), and VitalStats.
- CityMatCH. Tools and resources for implementing initiatives to support the improvement of local perinatal HIV systems, mobilize urban communities to reduce infant mortality and pregnancy loss, and reduce racial inequities in infant mortality in urban communities.
- Global Library of Women's Medicine. Peer-reviewed clinical information and guidance on women's health for health
professionals. Includes surgical video clips, diagnostic atlases, information
about laboratory tests, patient-education materials, and a special section
on safer motherhood.
- Healthy People
2020. National health-promotion and disease-prevention
initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). View the overview, objectives, and recommended interventions and resources for family planning and maternal, infant, and child health, which include objectives about pregnancy planning, maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, pregnancy health and behaviors, and preconception health and behaviors.
Family Foundation (KFF): Women's Health Policy.
Fact sheets, issue briefs, meeting
materials, and data for
policymakers, journalists, advocates, and public
health professionals about women's reproductive
health and access to care, including pregnancy-related
- March of Dimes (MOD). Perinatal
statistics, educational tools, research and medical reference information, and patient-education
materials on topics that include preconception, pregnancy,
prenatal screening, and genetics. Resources include
Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy: Enhancing Perinatal Health Through
Quality, Safety and Performance Initiatives (TIOP III). (2010). [Report, executive summary].
and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
Information about MCHB's projects and initiatives
on behalf of America's women, infants, children,
adolescents, and their families. Initiatives include
Healthy Start, a program to address factors contributing
to infant mortality, low birthweight, and other adverse
perinatal outcomes in high-risk populations, and
the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, a federal, state, and community collaboration to improve health and development
outcomes for children who are at risk through evidence-based
home-visiting programs. Additional resources include
MCH Learning. Video and audio webcasts to support communication and collaboration
between state and federal maternal and child health (MCH) professionals. Slides,
transcripts, and background materials accompany each webcast. Topics include Healthy Start, perinatal systems, and home visiting.
Women's Health USA. (2011). [Data book]. Includes health status indicators about reproductive and maternal health.
Also see the MCH Library, the Title V Information System, the Discretionary Grant Information System (DGIS), and the Maternal and Child Health Research Program.
Healthy Start Association (NHSA).
Information about the federal Healthy Start
program and its efforts to address infant mortality,
infants with low birthweights, and racial disparities
in perinatal outcomes.
Includes a directory of Healthy Start projects nationwide, tools to raise awareness about infant mortality, and a newsletter
and blog. Publications include
Healthy Start Initiative: A National Network
for Effective Home Visitation and Family
Support Services. (2010). [White paper].
Takes Two to Tango: Defining the Role of Fathers.
(2010). [Issue brief].
Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative. (2011). [Report].
Two Pieces of the Puzzle: A Collaboration Between the Pregnancy Risk Assessment
Monitoring Systems (PRAMS) and the Federal Healthy Start Initiative. (2010). [Issue brief].
- National SUID/SIDS Resource
Center. Resources for health and social services professionals, first responders, and child care providers, as well as for families about risk reduction and bereavement support for pregnancy loss and sudden and unexpected infant and child death. The center is part of a national consortium of four centers supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to address infant mortality and pregnancy loss. Resources include bibliographies, Spanish-language materials, a multimedia collection, a resource database, journal article summaries, and a training toolkit.
- Office of Minority Health: A Healthy Baby Begins with You. Information about this national campaign to raise awareness about infant mortality with an emphasis on the African-American community. Includes campaign materials and infant mortality disparities fact sheets. Also presents information about another aspect of the campaign, the Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) Program, which is designed to educate college students about preconception health and care and to train them to serve as ambassadors for their peers who are not attending college.
- Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns. Information about this initiative to reduce the risk of significant complications
and long-term health problems for pregnant women and infants. Components include
public-private partnership to reduce early elective deliveries and a
funding opportunity for testing new approaches to prenatal care. Strong Start
is a joint effort between the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA),
the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and organizations
devoted to the health of mothers and newborns.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Maternal and Infant Health. Preconception and pregnancy research and program information, algorithms for the management of high-risk pregnancies, screening protocols and policies, and patient-education fact sheets in English
and Spanish on pregnancy topics, genetics,
and serious pregnancy and fetal conditions.
- What to Expect Foundation: Baby Basics Prenatal Health Literacy Program. Program information and tools, case studies, models, and guidelines to provide coordinated, evidence-based prenatal-health education within underserved communities.
- Almond D, Currie J, Herrmann M. 2011. From Infant to Mother: Early Disease Environment and Future Maternal Health. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). [Paper].
- Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. 2010. Counseling Patients on Preconception Care: Folate and Beyond. (Upd. ed.). Washington, DC: Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. [Fact sheet].
- Harrison E, Partelow J, Grason H. 2009. Environmental Toxicants and Maternal and Child Health: An Emerging
Public Health Challenge. Baltimore, MD. Women's and Children's Health Policy Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. [Issue brief].
- Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes. 2010. Commission Outlook: Best and Promising Practices for Improving Research, Policy and Practice on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes. Washington, DC: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. [Report].
- Panel on Treatment of HIV-Infected Pregnant Women and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission. 2010. Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs
in Pregnant HIV-1-Infected Women for Maternal
Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV
Transmission in the United States. Rockville, MD: AIDSinfo. [Guidelines].
- Promising Practices Network (PPN) on Children, Families, and Communities. 2010. Promising Practices for Preventing Low Birth Weight. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. [Issue brief].
- Qureshi MF. 2010. Catalog of Preconception Health Initiatives in Region V States. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Maternal and Child
Health Program. [Directory].
- Reagin AE. 2009. Preventing Prematurity and Adverse Birth Outcomes: What Employers Should Know. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health. [Issue brief].
- Rebecca Project for Human Rights and National Women's Law Center. 2010. Mothers Behind Bars: A State-by-State Report Card and Analysis of Federal Policies
on Conditions of Confinement for Pregnant and Parenting Women and the Effect
on Their Children. Washington, DC: Rebecca Project for Human Rights and National Women's Law Center. [Report, Fact sheet, Webinar].
- Task Force on SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths. 2011. SIDS and Other
Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe
Infant Sleep Environment. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). [Policy statement, Technical report]. Some recommendations are directed toward women who are pregnant or may become pregnant in the near future.
- Womack L, Sappenfield WM. 2010. Preconception Health: An Issue for Every Woman
of Childbearing Age in Florida—Florida's Preconception Health Indicator Report. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Family and Community Health.
See the following set of MCH Library resource briefs to identify additional data and statistics, literature and research, and programs about preconception and pregnancy.
News and Commentary
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Birth Defects Surveillance
Listserv. This electronic discussion group aims to enhance communication among public health professionals working at the state level in birth defects surveillance and prevention.
- National Healthy Start Association (NHSA).
Getting Off to a Healthy Start. This newsletter informs Healthy Start staff and others in the MCH community about successful community-based approaches to reducing infant mortality and improving perinatal outcomes. The newsletter also highlights research and evaluation findings, legislative activities, and conference announcements.
Healthy from the Start. This blog offers updates about NHSA work and news from the MCH community about efforts to eliminate infant mortality, low birthweight, and racial disparities.
- National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB).
Monday Morning Memo. This weekly newsletter presents summaries of news and resources about maternal and infant health. Preconception and pregnancy are frequently addressed.
Text4baby Tuesday. This weekly newsletter presents information about Text4baby, which offers free weekly messages by cell phone to help pregnant women and new parents through pregnancy and their infant's first year. Sign up for Text4baby Tuesday to receive news from the national campaign and get program updates on partners' innovative promotion across the country. Also see the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation fact sheet, Partnering to Promote Healthy Babies (2011), which describes the Text4baby service, highlights how health plans and health plan foundations support Text4baby, and suggests ways plans and foundations can partner with state and local governments and community organizations to further promote the service.
Resources for Families
- See the MCH Library family resource brief Preconception and Pregnancy for links to resources for care, services, and support before and during pregnancy and websites about preconception and pregnancy. A separate section lists websites for pregnant adolescents.
Related MCH Library Resources
- Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting resource brief
- Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention knowledge path, family resource brief, school resource brief
- Assisted Reproductive Technologies resource brief
- Breastfeeding resource brief
- Childbirth resource brief
- Community Services Locator: An Online Directory for Finding Community Services for Children and Families knowledge path
- Depression During and After Pregnancy knowledge path, family resource brief
- Environmental Health resource brief
- Fatherhood resource brief
- Fertility and Infertility resource brief
- Genetics resource brief
- Health Insurance and Access to Care for Children and Adolescents knowledge path, family resource brief, school resource brief
- Home Visiting resource brief
- Infant Mortality and Pregnancy Loss knowledge path, family resource brief
- Intimate Partner Violence knowledge path, family resource brief
- Maternal Distress in the Perinatal Period and Child Outcomes knowledge path
- Medications resource brief
- Nutrition During Preconception and Pregnancy resource brief
- Prematurity and Preterm Birth resource brief
- Screening resource brief
- Sleep in Infants, Children, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women knowledge path, family resource brief, school resource brief
- Tobacco, Alcohol, and Substance Use During Preconception and Pregnancy resource brief
Preconception and Pregnancy: Knowledge Path, 3rd ed.
(January 2012). (Updated: January 2013).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Library.
Reviewers: Jeanne Anastasi, M.A., National SUID/SIDS Resource Center; Shree Mohanty, M.A., M.S., R.D., L.D., Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Region V; Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Library.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Library.