In the United States, we continue to improve adverse birth outcomes, such as infant mortality, low birth weight, and preterm birth in recent years. Preconception care has been increasingly recognized as an essential strategy by which to improve these reproductive outcomes. Very little research has examined sexual orientation disparities in preconception health which has important implications for birth outcomes. In the United States, sexual minority women (SMW) are more likely to report stillbirths, low birth weight, and preterm infants than heterosexual women.
Despite new public health policies aimed at improving preconception health, research suggests gay women are even more vulnerable to poor preconception health than their heterosexual counterparts, which has important implications for maternal and child health. With more research and policy reform, Organizations focused on providing education and training for individuals to achieve healthy birth experiences need to gather more information and evidence to invest in the reproductive health of pregnant LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Stroumsa et l.; cite poor preconception health is associated with adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes, and preconception care interventions appear promising in improving pregnancy outcomes, especially among high-risk populations. Preconception care can include endorsement of healthy behaviors, including adequate nutritional intake, reduction in adverse behaviors (such as smoking and other substance use), and evaluation for mitigable risks (including medical conditions and socioeconomic risks).
Statistics show the battle that the LGBTQIA+ community faces, which is vital to acknowledge the need for resources. Change and increased resources can help all individuals in the quests to in giving birth or supporting birth entered in the pregnancy when they chose, how they chose, and in their best possible health.
To Learn More about LGBTQIA+ rights, click here.
Aubrey Limburg, Bethany G. Everett, Stefanie Mollborn, and Michelle A. Kominiarek
Journal of Women's Health 2020 29:6, 755-762
Daphna Stroumsa and Timothy R.B. Johnson
Journal of Women's Health 2020 29:6, 745-747
Queer Immigrants & Affordable Health Care, 2014
Wingo E, Ingraham N, Roberts SCM. Reproductive Health Care Priorities and Barriers to Effective Care for LGBTQ People Assigned Female at Birth: A Qualitative Study. Womens Health Issues. 2018 Jul-Aug;28(4):350-357. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2018.03.002. Epub 2018 Apr 13. PMID: 29661698.