Netherlands considers introducing preconception care

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 04 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:686
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

The Health Council of the Netherlands, a scientific advisory body, has recommended that the Dutch government introduce an integrated programme of preconception care, to reduce perinatal mortality, miscarriage, premature birth, and congenital abnormalities.

The Dutch government commissioned the council to draw up its advice because the Netherlands has lost its pre-eminent position on perinatal mortality compared with other European Union countries, partly because of a higher proportion of older mothers and mothers belonging to ethnic minorities (Ned Tijdschr Geneeskr 2004;148:1855-60).

The council's key message is that current antenatal care, which starts after the …

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