Preconception health in the workplace: an opportunity to support equitable access to education
Hill, B and Savaglio, M and Blewitt, C and Ahuja, K and Kandel, P and Madden, S and Hills, AP and Skouteris, H, Preconception health in the workplace: an opportunity to support equitable access to education, Seminars in Reproductive Medicine ISSN 1526-8004 (In Press) [Refereed Article]
Preconception health is a key determinant of pregnancy and offspring outcomes, but challenges reaching people during preconception are frequently cited by health professionals. This article highlights the workplace as an important setting for promoting equitable access to preconception health-related information and education to support optimal well-being before pregnancy. Workplaces can support equitable access to education and knowledge for preconception health: (1) due to the high engagement of reproductive-age women in the workforce and (2) by reaching vulnerable or high-risk population groups who may otherwise face barriers to accessing preconception health information. Literature that explicitly investigates workplace delivery of preconception health promotion programs is scarce. However, workplace health promotion more broadly is associated with improved corporate competitiveness, productivity, and strengthened employee-employer relationships. Workplace health promotion activities may also address social determinants of health and improve employee well-being outcomes. The opportunity for workplaces to benefit from an increase in the bottom line makes workplace health promotion programs more attractive, but organizational support and stakeholder engagement are needed to facilitate the design and delivery of successful workplace preconception health education programs. Such programs have the potential to facilitate health gains for women and their families.