The Four Perinatal Periods

Healthy Start strives to ensure access to community-based, culturally sensitive, family-centered and comprehensive health and social services to women, infants and their families, before pregnancy through the child’s second birthday.  Healthy Start works with its participants across four phases of the perinatal period: Preconception/Interconception, Prenatal, Postpartum, and Parenting. Utilizing the EPIC principles assists grantees in their efforts to strengthen community service systems to best meet participant needs across the perinatal period.


This phase refers to the time period from diagnosis of pregnancy to birth. During this phase, Healthy Start works with women (and their partners) to promote maternal health, and a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

Some key aims for HS grantees during this phase:

  • Improve health risk screening for all pregnant women
  • Provide evidence-based tobacco cessation counseling
  • Referral and treatment of women with substance abuse and mental health disorders
  • Increase access to and quality of prenatal care
  • Support comprehensive home visiting programs


Inventory of Evidence-based Practices (EBPs) for Healthy Start Programs – A collection of evidence-based programs, practices and tools, searchable by phase of the perinatal period, topic and resource type. HS EPIC Center.