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National PCHHC Initiative Newsletter
Fall 2016 
Breaking Up with the "Cookie Cutter" Approach to Preconception Messages
Getting preconception health messaging right is an important step towards improving health outcomes in the US. A 'one message fits all' resource can leave many young adults and communities with information that does not resonate with their culture, language and circumstances. "Cookie cutter" messages are important and a good first step. But we know we need many different approaches for reaching the diverse young adults and communities in our country with these critical messages.
In December 2015, 
with funding 
from the WK Kellogg Foundation, the PCHHC Consumer Workgroup 
selected and 
funded 14 organizations nationwide to expand and diversify Show Your Love preconception messages and educational materials for men and women. 
Options included creating new videos, public service announcements, posters, digital ads, doctor dialogue toolkits, healthy habits checklists, and more. The products from these mini-grants ($5,000 or less) have been amazing. 
We are proud to now begin incorporating the Show Your Love Diversification Grantees' community-modified messaging and materials into our preconception resources. We are excited
to feature their work over the next several weeks. If you're not already following us on social media, NOW is the time to join the Love. 
Take a look at our Show Your Love Grantee roster HERE. Below is our first community feature. Be sure to look out for upcoming grantee features on, on social media, and in our newsletters.
Show Your Love: Reaching Young Women in Rural Communities  

The Healthy Start Coalition in Florida teamed up with the PCHHC in early February 2016 to evaluate preconception knowledge and attitudes and tailor "Show Your Love" campaign messages and materials for  African American women ages 18-24. 
As part of their strategic plan to address poor birth outcomes in Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor Counties, Florida, the Coalition hosted nearly 85 individuals at women's health workshops. They provided hands on education about 16 women's health topics, using the original CDC Campaign "Show Your Love" materials. The video below highlights their approach and efforts. Click below to watch:

Our favorite testimonial comes from Kayla W. in Florida:
 "I feel like the "Show Your Love Campaign" is very helpful! I love the fact that it teaches how to work towards being a better "you"!  I would love to see younger adults having a chance to experience the group and the instructor. I think having the appropriate resource and someone to talk with would make a major difference, for the better!" 
Read more about Healthy Start JMT Counties' preconception work HERE. Email for information about their tailored materials. 
 Preconception Care and Reproductive Life Planning featured in Sweden's
Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences
The work PCHHC is doing to advance care and influence consumer behaviors across the U.S. is featured in the Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences The new, open-access report, Advancing Preconception Care in the United States: Strategies for Change, describes how the preconception work has evolved in the US and the steps being taken to improve preconception care among consumers, health providers, and policy and public health leaders. The paper was based on a presentation given by Sarah Verbiest at the 3rd European Preconception Congress in Sweden this past February. 
Using the Reproductive Life Plan in Contraceptive Counselling was also presented to the 3rd European Preconception Congress in Sweden. This open-access manuscript by some of Sweden's most notable preconception health leaders describes the application of RLP into contraceptive counseling. 
New Study: Optimizing Preconception Health among Young Women: What Are We Missing?

A new study published in North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology f ound that 
"teen mothers we re less than half as likely to be counseled about taking folic acid, 4 times more likely to be counseled about vaccines, and twice as likely to be counseled about mental health before pregnancy compared with adult mothers." 

The study concludes that preventive care in teens could promote some aspects of preconception health. Here's some easy-digestible preconception health facts and tips.
NEW   Branded Gear! 
Join our Show Your Love Ambassador Network

Our Show Your Love Ambassador network is growing, and we are now recruiting young adults to model healthy behaviors in their communities and online.  Interested in nominating or becoming a Show Your Love Brand Ambassador?

  Email Suzanne Woodward ( 
or click   here for more information. 
Bi-Weekly Preconception Updates to Your In-Box 
Stay up to date on new preconception health care advancements. Sign up for the CDC's bi-weekly updates on preconception and interconception health by emailing Cheryl Robbins
About the Newsletter 

Thanks for reading!  Is your organization doing exciting work to promote preconception health?  
We would love to feature you in an upcoming newsletter! Email for details, or if you have any questions about the newsletter.  
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More news stories from PCHHC leaders HERE.
CDC Guidelines on Preconception Health and the Zika Virus 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare providers ask all women of reproductive age about their  reproductive life plans , including pregnancy intentions and timing. These opportunistic  discussions allow couples and their providers to discuss more than just Zika virus, including stopping tobacco-use, managing weight or chronic conditions, and screening and treating sexually transmitted infections.

CDC updated its interim guidance for Zika virus prevention and planning in Sept 2016, recommending that all men with possible Zika virus exposure wait to conceive until at least 6 months after symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible Zika virus exposure (if asymptomatic).
Recommendations for women planning to conceive remain unchanged.  

Great read on Zika prevention, counselling, and stats HERE.
ICYMI: Congress passed $1.1 Billion to Zika Virus Response
On September 29, President Barack Obama signed a temporary spending measure that includes $1.1 billion to combat the spread of Zika virus in the US and abroad. Federal leaders have redirected some $600 million from existing programs into Zika response efforts. More HERE.
Black Lives Matter: Claiming a Space for Evidence-Based Outrage in Obstetrics and Gynecology
The "Black Lives Matter" movement has been widely embraced by those who wish to describe the larger context of persistent inequities for Black Americans.  Given the current racial disparities in women's health, the authors of this important American Journal of Public Health editorial underscore that, "we can prioritize racial equity in women's health, but we must actively choose to do so."
NACDD: NEW Gestational Diabetes Collaborative Better Data Better Care Report
Gestational diabetes affects approximately 240,000 US pregnancies annually, putting at least a half-million mothers and offspring at a 7-fold risk of developing early diabetes and other chronic diseases. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors released their  Gestational Diabetes Collaborative Better Data Better Care State and Tribal Organization Impact Report, detailing interventions, outcomes, and improvement strategies. 
Texas Maternal Mortality: Amplifying the Voices of a Rising Social Issue
The rising cases of maternal mortality in Texas and the US has been in the news , triggered by a recent article in Obstetrics & Gynecology and a Texas Department of State Health Services report calling attention to this issue. 
Solution-oriented articles, such as this one, are helping bring women's health concerns to light and amplifying the experiences and voices of Black women in Texas. If you have a suggestion or can offer more perspective, please email Pilar Herrero , Center for Reproductive Rights.   
Show Your Love at the Healthy Teen Network Conference!
Register to attend The Healthy Teen Network Conference on November 14-16 in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along on social media for Show Your Love prizes & giveaways!  Conference information HERE.
This e-newsletter is archived.  Find back issues of the newsletter and more information about improving preconception health and health care here.