Throughout its prior six editions, Guidelines for Perinatal Care has focused on e
improving the outcomes of pregnancies and reducing maternal and perinatal
mortality and morbidity by suggesting sound paradigms for providing perinatal
care. Its strong advocacy of regionalized perinatal systems, including effective
risk identification, care in a risk-appropriate setting, and maternal or neonatal
transport to tertiary care facilities when necessary, has had a demonstrable effect
on perinatal outcomes. The current edition incorporates evidence-based data to
further refine optimal regionalized care, including revised definitions of levels
of neonatal care. This edition also includes evidence-based recommendations
on the use of safe and effective diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in both
maternal–fetal medicine and neonatology.
The full spectrum of high-quality perinatal care is covered by this seventh
edition of Guidelines for Perinatal Care, from the principles of preconception
counseling and the provision of antepartum and intrapartum care in routine
and complex settings to guidelines for routine and complex neonatal and
postpartum care. The preconception and antepartum care chapter has been
expanded to include new information on prenatal care of women with intellec-
tual and developmental disabilities and updated guidelines on immunization,
nutrition, diet, weight gain, and the prevention of perinatal group B strepto-
coccal disease. Intrapartum and postpartum information includes coverage of f
new topics, such as planned home birth and underwater birth, and provides
revised postpartum contraception recommendations that are aligned with the
U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraception published by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. The chapter on obstetric and medical
complications has been expanded with new information and evidence-based
recommendations to guide clinical practice in these specialized areas.
The chapters on care of healthy and high-risk infants include updated rec-
ommendations on neonatal resuscitation, screening and management of hyper-
bilirubinemia, and neonatal drug g withdrawal. The addition of information
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