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Why does health before pregnancy matter so much?

Good question!  Let's use an anology all college students can relate to.  Prenatal care is important, but it is kind of like skipping class all semester  and then studying for the final. It helps, but not as much as being prepared all term.  A similar thing happens in pregnancy.  In the first few weeks of pregnancy before a woman knows she's pregnant and has entered prenatal care, the nervous system, heart, arms, eyes, legs and other body parts have finished the most important part of their development.  Sure, there is still a lot that will happen during the rest of the pregnancy, but just like you're more likely to flunk the final if you didn't study all semester, you're more likely to have health problems if you aren't already healthy before the pregnancy starts.

Making matters worse, unplanned pregnancies result in almost half of all births in California.  This means we can't wait until people want to get pregnant to improve their health and health habits, it has to happen now.

This is why we need YOU!

Peer Preconception Educators are central to our goal of educating all communities in California about the importance of preconception health.  We teach college students like you about preconception health, train you to start a campus chapter if there isn't already one at your school, connect you to community partners with whom you can collaborate on projects, and provide general support.  Best of all, you can get credit for your work which will help you when you apply for jobs!

Do you want to get involved?

We sure hope so!  Peer Educators are invaluable to preconception health. The Peer Educators program is open to all students enrolled and in good standing at any post-secondary institution in California.  View the links  below for information about the program and upcoming trainings.

Available Resources
The goal of the Peer Preconception Educators program is to educate the college-age population about preconception health and health care so they can be ambassadors to their peers in college and the community at large. Started in 2007 by the federal office of minority health...
Keywords: About CPPEC
Here you will find information related to the development of CSU Northridge's Preconception Peer Education organization. Find tips about setting up your organization, as well as sample projects, etc.
Keywords: PPE; preconception peer education; next steps; organization; club
This article in the the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing (May/June 2012) describes a pilot preconception peer education project in a college setting and reports successes. Ongoing use of peer educators is recommended.
Keywords: PPE; preconception peer education; school-based strategy; college; university; young women and men; network
Looking for PowerPoint slides from a past peer educator training/event? Check here!
Keywords: Slides; handouts; PowerPoint; PPE; preconception peer education
Want to become a PPE? Looking for a training to attend? Here is a list of the upcoming Peer Educator trainings.
Keywords: training peer educator upcoming
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EveryWomanCalifornia.org is generously supported by March of Dimes California.
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