The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will be publishing the guidelines on the 6 March 2019. They will be called “Care of women with existing medical conditions or obstetric complications and their babies”.

These recommendations are the first of their kind in the UK. Before now, there weren’t any official guides for caring for women going through high-risk pregnancies. The new guidelines will help women who have chronic medical conditions while they are pregnant. This includes conditions such as heart disease and asthma, or pregnancy complications like sepsis, previous C-sections, or women who have received no antenatal care.

Heidi Beddall, formed part of the committee of authors who wrote the guidelines. She is Head of Midwifery at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

She said:

I am incredibly proud to have been selected to represent midwifery at this national level and to be able to influence national maternity practice, in line with the best available evidence, to ensure women and babies across the UK are receiving safe maternity care.

The UK and local population of childbearing women is changing. There has been an increase in the conditions that may affect pregnancy and birth. There are strong ambitions within maternity care nationally to improve patient safety. This ambition will reduce stillbirths, neonatal deaths, brain injuries to babies and maternal deaths. These new guidelines are integral to achieving these ambitions. They will help improve care and clinical outcomes for women and ensuring they make fully informed choices.

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