Emerging Practice

Power Your Life Preconception Campaign

State/Jurisdiction: Utah
Setting: Urban
Population: Women/Maternal Health,
Topic Area: Reproductive Health,

The overall goals of the Power Your Life campaign were to raise awareness of preconception health and increase consumption of folic acid. According to the Utah Department of Health Birth Defects Network, neural tube defects increased during 1999 to 2008, resulting in approximately 18-25 additional babies being born with a brain or spinal cord tubal defect in Utah each year. Analysis of Utah’s 2006 Indicator-Based Information System (IBIS) data indicated that, across ethnicities, many women from Utah do not take daily multivitamins (including folic acid); roughly 12% of all Utah women reported they smoked three months before becoming pregnant; and an average of 21% of Utah women reported they drank alcohol during the three months prior to becoming pregnant. Additionally, Hispanic women from Utah showed a higher percentage of unplanned pregnancies except in the 18-19-year age group, in which unplanned pregnancies were much higher among non-Hispanic women. This indicated a need for a culturally relevant campaign, targeted by age, to present clear messaging around preconception health. The Utah Department of Health contracted SUMA/Orchard Social Marketing, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, to create the social marketing campaign. The objectives were to raise awareness of and promote healthy behaviors for young women before they become pregnant, including proper nutrition and exercise; regular consumption of vitamins with folic acid; knowledge of family history; keeping up to date on vaccinations; avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and abuse of other substances; prevention of risky sexual behaviors leading to unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections; and sustaining healthy relationships.

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Implementation Handout

Utah Department of Health
Susan Poag

Practice Website
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