Pregnancy Care Guidelines | Australian Government Department of Health



The Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care (the Guidelines) continue the process of providing high-quality, evidence-based advice to maternity service providers and to the consumers of their care. This process began in 2008 with the development of Module I (Clinical Practice Guidelines: Antenatal Care) and its subsequent publication in 2012. It was followed by Module II, which was published in 2014.

This edition brings together the previous two modules and contains updates on a number of topics including weight and body mass index (revised weight control), fetal growth and well-being, risk preterm delivery, risk of preeclampsia (risk factors and revised prediction), domestic violence, hyperglycemia (early tests reviewed), hepatitis C, thyroid dysfunction, vitamin D status and chromosomal abnormalities DNA tests examined). The new topic on substance use has also been incorporated.

The guidelines were developed to help ensure Australian women receive consistent, high-quality and evidence-based maternity care. The Guidelines are intended for all health professionals who assist in pregnancy care, including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care workers, and allied health professionals.

The next challenge is to facilitate the adoption of the Guidelines and their incorporation into routine care so that Australian women receive the highest quality maternity care possible. To facilitate this adoption, the Australian Government’s Department of Health is funding the development of fact sheets for healthcare professionals and consumers and the development of an electronic version of the guidelines with intuitive and accessible navigation on mobile devices. .

We acknowledge the contributions of the expert advisory committee as well as the secretariat and project management provided by the Department of Health and, in particular, the expertise of the Methodologist (Philippa Middleton, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) and the Technical writer and evidence reviewer (Jenny Ramson, Ampersand Health Science Writing), who prepared this edition.

The recommendations contained in these guidelines have been approved by the National Board of Health and Medical Research as meeting the Council’s standards for preparing evidence-based recommendations.

We welcome this latest edition of the Pregnancy Guidelines, a process that began in 2008 and continues in 2018 with the support of the Ministry of Health with the preparation of additional chapters and the review of previous topics.

We hope that the Guidelines will contribute to greater consistency in pregnancy care and improve the experience and outcomes of pregnancy care for women and their families.

Prof. Caroline Homer AO
Professor Jeremy Oats

(On behalf of the Expert Advisory Committee)

Copyright statement

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Suggested citation

Ministry of Health (2020) Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care.
Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health.

Publication approval


The recommendations of these guidelines were approved under section 14A of the National Board of Health and Medical Research Act 1992 at various times. NHMRC the approval is valid for a period of 5 years and the corresponding approval period is indicated in the summary of recommendations.

By endorsing the recommendations of the guidelines, NHMRC considers that they meet the NHMRC for clinical practice guidelines and believes that guideline recommendations are systematically derived, based on the identification and synthesis of the best available scientific evidence, and developed for healthcare professionals practicing in an Australian healthcare setting.

This publication reflects the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the Australian Government.

Last update:

February 5, 2021

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