In March 2005, the Best Start Resource Centre launched its Health Before Pregnancy Provincial Campaign. Many men and women wait until a pregnancy is confirmed before they seek prenatal care or make changes to their lifestyle or health choices. These efforts, while important for improving birth outcomes, often occur too late to have a positive impact on the developing baby during its critical stages of development. There are many things that both men and women can do before pregnancy to improve the health of their future children.

Although half of all pregnancies in Canada are unplanned, this campaign was designed for men and women between the ages of 20 - 40 who are planning a pregnancy. Best Start recognized that those with unplanned pregnancies are more likely to be at increased risk for various adverse outcomes and probably would not benefit from most of the information provided through this campaign.


Key Messages

Reproductive health begins long before a baby is conceived.
A healthy baby is dependent on the health of both the mother and the father prior to pregnancy.


Campaign Components

Provincial Mass Media: Best Start arranged for transit ads, (bus and GO train), and movie theatre advertising. Best Start also developed camera-ready articles and TV and radio news clips for Ontario media.
Local Activities: Best Start provided local groups with resources and information for local initiatives and will encouraged them to share the resources with other health care providers in their community.

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