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Much of our knowledge about antenatal care concerns the way in which it is delivered. This in turn may rely upon allocating risk. Whilst the detection of specific medical and past obstetric factors is vitally important within a pregnancy, allocating risk and subsequent management according to high or low risk categories may be misleading. We should be aware of those interventions of proven benefit and their limitations.

The introduction of Changing Childbirth has highlighted the need for a more woman centred approach and the maternal dissatisfaction and potential anxiety generated by a reduced schedule of visits should be taken into consideration when re-examining antenatal care delivery. In addition, there is a need to recognise the needs of the baby, whose well-being requires a system which can institute appropriate antenatal screening and surveillance throughout pregnancy.





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