The UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health hosted the #Preconception2022 conference in late September with the theme ‘Bookends of pregnancy: preconception and post-natal/interconception health and care’.
Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle was an invited speaker for the plenary session on ‘Evidence to Practice: Global Insights’ and shared progress of the Preconception Health Network to put a new focus on the socioecological models of health, addressing health across the life course to embed equity, community and co-design. She also presented on Australian initiatives to understand the views of teachers, health professionals and young people on the importance of sexual and reproductive health and how it is taught in schools.
The conference was introduced to the work being undertaken in Australia to better understand the knowledge and attitudes about preconception health in women from migrant and refugee backgrounds and the co-design of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
The conference really highlighted the need for academics to be political, to advocate to governments around policy on behalf of the community to address the social and economic determinants that affect equitable outcomes.Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle
Dr Briony Hill shared the results of a systematic review to synthesise the drivers of weight stigma against preconception and the need for further research to identify communication strategies and best practices to train health professionals providing care for women living in larger bodies as well as targeting casual beliefs about obesity.
She also presented a workshop, with Professor Helen Skouteris, in a session on delivering preconception healthcare to specific groups. Their workshop explored ways in which society can transcend individual blame and weight stigma regarding lifestyle health and weight management for preconception women.
I was happy to see a real theme emerge on the importance of socioecological perspectives to preconception health and the need to consider mental health alongside diet and physical activity.Dr Briony Hill
These initiatives will also be highlighted at upcoming events including the Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum (HiPPP) Early and Mid-career Researcher Collective (EMR-C) Conference and the CRE HiPP Showcase.