New guidelines for care during pregnancy

In Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay by PHN Communications

The Australian Government Department of Health has released a revised version of the Pregnancy Care Clinical Practice Guidelines.

The 2018 edition of the guidelines combines Module I and 2 of the Antenatal Care Guidelines, published in 2012 and 2014 respectively. A number of chapters were reviewed and updated for this edition, in accordance with NHRMC requirements for guideline development.

The guidelines provide evidence based recommendations to support health professionals to provide high quality, safe antenatal care in all settings.  They highlight specific approaches to pregnancy care for a range of groups, with a focus on improving the experience of antenatal care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant and refugee women and women with severe mental illness.

Among the changes is a new recommendation to encourage routine Hepatitis C testing at the first antenatal visit. Routine testing for Vitamin D status is now discouraged, unless there is a specific indication.

The guidelines recognise body mass index prior to pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy as important determinants of health for both mothers and babies.

The guidelines are designed for all health professionals caring for pregnant women, including midwives, obstetricians, GPs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals.

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines can be downloaded here.