As recently as the 1980s, pregnant women over the age of 35 were routinely described as elderly mothers. During that time, these patients were also relatively rare. Today, many women are delaying childbearing, and pregnancy in women over the age of 35 is considerably more common.
Advanced maternal age (AMA) still comes with increased risks for pregnant women and their babies, but improvement in technology and the management of labor and delivery has resulted in better outcomes for them. Additionally, AMA is now more frequently defined in medical literature as 40 to 45 years old.
So how did we get here, to a place where we need to put much more effort into high risk obstetrics? What are the changes that led to improved outcomes for older pregnant women?
Appropriate management of high-risk patients is essential to making pregnancy, labor and delivery safer for patients in this cohort. An obstetric risk assessment is key in many situations. Where should we focus our attention when planning training and education for providers? OB clinical competency is a good place to start.
Consider the following when planning to maintain clinical skills for obstetrical providers.
Improving perinatal outcomes means safer pregnancy and delivery for all women including the increasing numbers of women of advanced maternal age has long been a goal in healthcare. So what is the best way to support providers facing high risk obstetrics who are striving to provide safe and effective obstetrical care?
Make sure your program includes the following:
Lastly, build an inclusive program for physicians, nurses, nurse midwives and anesthesiologists so that all disciplines are adequately prepared to manage obstetrical risk.
Learn more about reducing obstetrical risks in our comprehensive online courses
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