ACOG: Interpregnancy Period Should Maximize Women's Health

Components of postpartum care should be included as the initial components of interpregnancy care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Providers should maximize women's health during the interpregnancy period, continuing care beyond the immediate postpartum period, according to a consensus report published online Dec. 20 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Judette Marie Louis, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and colleagues address interpregnancy care, which aims to maximize women's wellness in between pregnancies, during subsequent pregnancies, and along the life course.

The authors note that all women of reproductive age who have been pregnant should receive interpregnancy care as a continuum from postpartum care, regardless of the outcome of their pregnancies (miscarriage, abortion, preterm, full-term delivery). The components of postpartum care, including reproductive life planning, depression screening, vaccination, management of diabetes or hypertension if needed, and education about future health, should be included in the initial components of interpregnancy care. Interpregnancy care provides an opportunity to optimize health before a subsequent pregnancy in women with chronic medical conditions. The period after pregnancy also affords an opportunity for secondary prevention and improvement of future health for women who will not have any future pregnancies.

"We are looking at pregnancy as a window to the woman's future health," Louis said in a statement. "The interpregnancy period is an opportunity for women's health care providers to address complications and medical issues that develop during pregnancy, assess a woman's mental and physical well-being, and optimize her health along her life course."

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