The World Health Organization (2012) developed a report on preterm birth rates and how to prevent them. Born to Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth includes rates and information from multiple countries and provides guidance and interventions on how to prevent preterm birth. Preconception and interconception times are critical to reducing preterm birth. Per WHO (2012, p 45-57) adolescents is a time that pre and interconception care be introduced, not only with intervention that helps to maintain health and nutrition, but to prevent pregnancy in adolescents.
Prevention of intimate partner violence, providing adequate mental health resources, maintaining chronic health conditions, reducing STI transmission and adequate treatment, reducing obesity, and stopping smoking, alcohol intake or elicit drugs are the other items that can increase preterm birth. Assessing for these should be done in the pre and interconception period to help ensure that a future pregnancy will not have complications (WHO, 2012. p 45-57).
Active family planning in relation to what the women’s goals are should be done as well. Having a woman make a cognizant decision or discussing family planning with women at their healthcare visits will make the issue of conception and health more accessible. WHO (2012, p 49) discussed optimal spacing of pregnancies. This would help to reduce physical and emotional stress that could cause preterm birth. Per WHO (2012, p 49) the optimal spacing between births is 18-24 months.
World Health Organization. (2012). Born to Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2012/201204_borntoosoon-report.pdf