Shared care of the expectant mother
JournalInnovAiT: Education and inspiration for general practice
RightsArchived with thanks to InnovAiT: Education and inspiration for general practice
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Although the natural process of pregnancy and childbirth do not change, the specialty of obstetrics (‘to stand by’ in Latin) is forever changing. There is no time to ‘stand by’ with ever busier maternity units and pressures on appointments, beds and resources. As techniques, pathways, tests and guidelines become more advanced and detailed we must not lose sight of basic skills, thorough clinical assessment, and the need for more joined-up thinking between obstetrics as a specialty and general practice. This article does not focus on intrapartum care or on the high-risk pregnancy issues managed within maternity units, rather it considers some of the areas where shared care of the expectant mother between obstetricians, midwives and those working within general practice matter most. It also highlights some of the common issues that arise during pregnancy and present to a primary care setting.