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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp e333–e335 | Cite as

Delayed parenthood on the rise: A call for upstream preconception health promotion in Canada

  • Catriona MillEmail author
  • Joanne Enders
  • Cynthia Montanaro
  • Kieran Michael Moore
Commentary
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

The trend toward delayed parenthood is on the rise across Canada. Societal emphasis on attaining higher education, career advancement and financial security may be some reasons why individuals delay becoming a parent; whatever the reason, this trend is linked to significant health and economic impacts. Many Canadians are unaware of the impact this may have on their fertility and potential birth outcomes. It is important that health care professionals apprise individuals in their reproductive years about these issues and the steps they can take to mitigate these risks. Implementing a health equity and broader determinants of health approach through social policy development may also prove beneficial. Such upstream approaches could enhance maternal and child health outcomes, and also help ensure that people of reproductive age are making an informed decision about delaying parenthood. This article calls for developing a comprehensive preconception health promotion and care strategy encompassing individual, community and population level approaches.

Key Words

Preconception care health promotion public health Canada fertility health knowledge attitudes practices 

Résumé

La tendance à différer la condition parentale est en hausse au Canada. L’importance accordée par la société aux études supérieures, à l’avancement professionnel et à la sécurité financière pourrait expliquer pourquoi on retarde le moment de devenir parent; quelle qu’en soit la raison, cette tendance a d’importantes conséquences pour la santé et l’économie. De nombreux Canadiens et Canadiennes ignorent l’impact que cela pourrait avoir sur leur fécondité et sur les issues possibles de la grossesse. Il est important que les professionnels de la santé informent les personnes en âge de procréer de ces enjeux, et des mesures qu’elles peuvent prendre pour atténuer les risques. La mise en oeuvre d’une démarche axée sur l’équité en santé et sur les grands déterminants de la santé par l’élaboration de politiques sociales pourrait aussi s’avérer bénéfique. De telles démarches d’amont pourraient améliorer les résultats de santé maternelle et infantile et contribuer à faire en sorte que les personnes en âge de procréer prennent la décision de différer la condition parentale en connaissance de cause. Notre article préconise l’élaboration d’une stratégie globale de promotion de la santé et des soins préconceptionnels qui englobe des démarches individuelles, communautaires et populationnelles.

Mots Clés

soins préconceptionnels promotion de la santé santé publique Canada fécondité connaissances attitudes pratiques en santé 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catriona Mill
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Joanne Enders
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cynthia Montanaro
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kieran Michael Moore
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Toronto Public HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Ontario Public Health AssociationTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency ServicesWaterlooCanada
  4. 4.Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public HealthGuelphCanada
  5. 5.KFL&A Health UnitKingstonCanada
  6. 6.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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