The Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care (the Guidelines) continue the process of providing high quality evidence-based guidance to maternity service providers and the consumers of their care. This process started in 2008 with the development of Module I (Clinical Practice Guidelines: Antenatal Care), and its subsequent release in 2012. This was followed by Module II, which was released in 2014.
This edition brings together the two previous modules and contains updates of a number of topics from them, including weight and body mass index (weight monitoring reviewed), fetal growth and wellbeing, risk of preterm birth, risk of pre-eclampsia (risk factors and prediction reviewed), family violence, hyperglycaemia (early testing reviewed), hepatitis C, thyroid dysfunction, vitamin D status and chromosomal anomalies (cell- free DNA testing reviewed). The new topic substance use has also been incorporated.
The Guidelines were developed to help ensure that women in Australia are provided with consistent, high- quality, evidence-based maternity care. The Guidelines are intended for all health professionals who contribute to pregnancy care including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals.
The next challenge is to facilitate the uptake of the Guidelines and their incorporation into routine care so that the women of Australia receive the highest possible quality of maternity care. To assist with this uptake, the Australian Government Department of Health is funding the development of health professional and consumer summary sheets and the development of an electronic version of the guidelines that has intuitive navigation and is mobile device accessible.
We acknowledge the contributions of the Expert Advisory Committee together with the Secretariat and Project Management provided by the Department of Health and, in particular, the expertise of the methodologist (Philippa Middleton, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) and technical writer and expert evidence reviewer (Jenny Ramson, Ampersand Health Science Writing), who prepared this edition.
The recommendations in these Guidelines have been endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council as meeting the Council’s standards for the preparation of evidence-based recommendations.
We commend this latest edition of the Pregnancy Guidelines, a process that started in 2008 and is continuing in 2018 with the support of the Department of Health with the preparation of additional chapters and review of previous topics.
We trust that the Guidelines will contribute to greater consistency in pregnancy care and improve the experience and outcomes of pregnancy care for women and their families.
Prof Caroline Homer AO
Prof Jeremy Oats
(On behalf of the Expert Advisory Committee)
Read the Departments of health copyright statement.
Department of Health (2018) Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care.
Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health.