xiii Throughout its prior seven editions, Guidelines for Perinatal Care has focused on 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 sys- tems, 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. This eighth edition expands the regionalized care concept further by describing levels of mater- nal care in detail in Chapter 1. Although a national dialogue about matching levels of hospital care to levels of care required for mothers and neonates has been ongoing since the publication of the March of Dimes Foundation’s Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy in the 1970s, this concept has only truly been implemented consistently for neonates. In Chapter 1, you can see that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics now believe it is time to demand such levels for mothers as well. We present the suggested level of maternal care from birth centers to a described level IV institution. This edition also makes evidence-based recommendations on the use of safe and effective diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in maternal–fetal medicine and neonatology. The full spectrum of high-quality perinatal care is covered by this eighth edition of Guidelines for Perinatal Care, from the principles of prepregnancy 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 prepregnancy and antepartum care chapters introduce the concept and underscore the importance of interpregnancy care to mater- nal and fetal health. Chapter 5 from the seventh edition has been split into two chapters one of which includes prepregnancy and interpregnancy care, and the other of which covers antepartum care. We also have added sections xiii Introduction
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