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Committee Opinion Number 713, August 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 677, October 2016)

ABSTRACT: Corticosteroid administration before anticipated preterm birth is one of the most important antenatal therapies available to improve newborn outcomes. A single course of corticosteroids is recommended for pregnant women between 24 0/7 weeks and 33 6/7 weeks of gestation who are at risk of preterm delivery within 7 days, including for those with ruptured membranes and multiple gestations. It also may be considered for pregnant women starting at 23 0/7 weeks of gestation who are at risk of preterm delivery within 7 days, based on a family’s decision regarding resuscitation, irrespecti...

Committee Opinion Number 712, August 2017

ABSTRACT: Intraamniotic infection, also known as chorioamnionitis, is an infection with resultant inflammation of any combination of the amniotic fluid, placenta, fetus, fetal membranes, or decidua. Intraamniotic infection is a common condition noted among preterm and term parturients. However, most cases of intraamniotic infection detected and managed by obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric care providers will be noted among term patients in labor. Intraamniotic infection can be associated with acute neonatal morbidity, including neonatal pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and death. Ma...

Committee Opinion Number 700, May 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 611, October 2014)

ABSTRACT: Accurate dating of pregnancy is important to improve outcomes and is a research and public health imperative. As soon as data from the last menstrual period, the first accurate ultrasound examination, or both are obtained, the gestational age and the estimated due date (EDD) should be determined, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record. Subsequent changes to the EDD should be reserved for rare circumstances, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record. A pregnancy without an ultrasound examination that confirms or revises...

Committee Opinion Number 692, April 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 623, February 2015)

ABSTRACT: Acute-onset, severe systolic hypertension; severe diastolic hypertension; or both can occur during the prenatal, intrapartum, or postpartum periods. Pregnant women or women in the postpartum period with acute-onset, severe systolic hypertension; severe diastolic hypertension; or both require urgent antihypertensive therapy. Introducing standardized, evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management of patients with preeclampsia and eclampsia has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of adverse maternal outcomes. Individuals and institutions should have mechanisms in place to...

Committee Opinion Number 689, March 2017

ABSTRACT: In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association published the 2005 guidelines on neonatal resuscitation. Before the 2005 guidelines, management of a newborn with meconium-stained amniotic fluid included suctioning of the oropharynx and nasopharynx on the perineum after the delivery of the head but before the delivery of the shoulders. The 2005 guidelines did not support this practice because routine intrapartum suctioning does not prevent or alter the course of meconium aspiration syndrome in vigorous newborns. However, the 2005 guidelines did support ...

Committee Opinion Number 688, March 2017

ABSTRACT: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers first-trimester ultrasonography to be the most accurate method to establish or confirm gestational age. Pregnancies without an ultrasonographic examination confirming or revising the estimated due date before 22 0/7 weeks of gestation should be considered suboptimally dated. This document provides guidance for managing pregnancies in which the best clinical estimate of gestational age is suboptimal. There is no role for elective delivery in a woman with a suboptimally dated pregnancy. Although guidelines for indicated...

Committee Opinion Number 687, February 2017

ABSTRACT: Obstetrician–gynecologists, in collaboration with midwives, nurses, patients, and those who support them in labor, can help women meet their goals for labor and birth by using techniques that are associated with minimal interventions and high rates of patient satisfaction. Many common obstetric practices are of limited or uncertain benefit for low-risk women in spontaneous labor. For women who are in latent labor and are not admitted, a process of shared decision making is recommended. Admission during the latent phase of labor may be necessary for a variety of reasons. A pregnant w...

Committee Opinion Number 684, January 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 543, December 2012)

ABSTRACT: Delayed umbilical cord clamping appears to be beneficial for term and preterm infants. In term infants, delayed umbilical cord clamping increases hemoglobin levels at birth and improves iron stores in the first several months of life, which may have a favorable effect on developmental outcomes. There is a small increase in jaundice that requires phototherapy in this group of infants. Consequently, health care providers adopting delayed umbilical cord clamping in term infants should ensure that mechanisms are in place to monitor for and treat neonatal jaundice. In preterm infants, de...

Committee Opinion Number 679, November 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 594, April 2014)

ABSTRACT: Immersion in water during labor or delivery has been popularized over the past several decades. The prevalence of this practice in the United States is uncertain because it has not been studied in births outside of the home and birth centers, and the data are not recorded on birth certificates. Among randomized controlled trials included in a 2009 Cochrane systematic review that addressed immersion in the first stage of labor, results were inconsistent with regard to maternal benefits. Neither the Cochrane systematic review nor any individual trials included in that review reported ...

Committee Opinion Number 670, August 2016

ABSTRACT: Immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) has the potential to reduce unintended and short-interval pregnancy. Women should be counseled about all forms of postpartum contraception in a context that allows informed decision making. Immediate postpartum LARC should be offered as an effective option for postpartum contraception; there are few contraindications to postpartum intrauterine devices and implants. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should discuss LARC during the antepartum period and counsel all pregnant women about options ...

Committee Opinion Number 667, July 2016

ABSTRACT: Emergency departments typically have structured triage guidelines for health care providers encountering the diverse cases that may present to their units. Such guidelines aid in determining which patients must be evaluated promptly and which may wait safely, and aid in determining anticipated use of resources. Although labor and delivery units frequently serve as emergency units for pregnant women, the appropriate structure, location, timing, and timeliness for hospital-based triage evaluations of obstetric patients are not always clear. Hospital-based obstetric units are urged to ...

Committee Opinion Number 664, June 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 321, November 2005)

ABSTRACT: One of the most challenging scenarios in obstetric care occurs when a pregnant patient refuses recommended medical treatment that aims to support her well-being, her fetus’s well-being, or both. In such circumstances, the obstetrician–gynecologist’s ethical obligation to safeguard the pregnant woman’s autonomy may conflict with the ethical desire to optimize the health of the fetus. Forced compliance—the alternative to respecting a patient’s refusal of treatment—raises profoundly important issues about patient rights, respect for autonomy, violations of bodily integrity, power diffe...

Committee Opinion Number 652, January 2016

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 573, September 2013)

ABSTRACT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against the use of magnesium sulfate injections for more than 5–7 days to stop preterm labor in pregnant women. Based on this, the drug classification was changed from Category A to Category D, and the labeling was changed to include this new warning information. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s change in classification addresses an unindicated and nonstandard use of magnesium sulfate in obstetric care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine continue to support ...

October 2015

Committee Opinion Number 644, October 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 333, May 2006, Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The Apgar score provides an accepted and convenient method for reporting the status of the newborn infant immediately after birth and the response to resuscitation if needed. The Apgar score alone cannot be considered to be evidence of or a consequence of asphyxia, does not predict individual neonatal mortality or neurologic outcome, and should not be used for that purpose. An Apgar score assigned during a resuscitation is not equivalent to a score assigned to a spontaneously breathing infant. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolog...

Committee Opinion Number 597, May 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

Abstract: Functional oxytocin deficiency and a faulty oxytocin signaling pathway have been observed in conjunction with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Because exogenous synthetic oxytocin commonly is administered for labor induction and augmentation, some have hypothesized that synthetic oxytocin used for these purposes may alter fetal oxytocin receptors and predispose exposed offspring to ASD. However, current evidence does not identify a causal relationship between labor induction or augmentation in general, or oxytocin labor induction specifically, and autism or ASD. Recognizing the limit...

Committee Opinion Number 590, March 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 487, April 2011)

ABSTRACT: Patient care emergencies may occur at any time in any setting, particularly the inpatient setting. It is important that obstetrician–gynecologists prepare themselves by assessing potential emergencies, establishing early warning systems, designating specialized first responders, conducting emergency drills, and debriefing staff after actual events to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Having such systems in place may reduce or prevent the severity of medical emergencies.

November 2013

Committee Opinion Number 579, November 2013

Reaffirmed 2015

ABSTRACT: In the past, the period from 3 weeks before until 2 weeks after the estimated date of delivery was considered “term,” with the expectation that neonatal outcomes from deliveries in this interval were uniform and good. Increasingly, however, research has shown that neonatal outcomes, especially respiratory morbidity, vary depending on the timing of delivery within this 5-week gestational age range. To address this lack of uniformity, a work group was convened in late 2012, which recommended that the label “term” be replaced with the designations early term (37 0/7 weeks of gestation ...

Committee Opinion Number 571, September 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Currently, only povidone-iodine preparations are approved for vaginal surgical-site antisepsis. However, there are compelling reasons to consider chlorhexidine gluconate solutions for off-label use in surgical preparation of the vagina, especially in women with allergies to iodine. Although chlorhexidine gluconate solutions with high concentrations of alcohol are contraindicated for surgical preparation of the vagina, solutions with low concentrations of alcohol (eg, 4%) are both safe and effective for off-label use as vaginal surgical preparations and may be used as an alternative ...

Committee Opinion Number 561, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: For certain medical conditions, available data and expert opinion support optimal timing of delivery in the late-preterm or early-term period for improved neonatal and infant outcomes. However, for nonmedically indicated early-term deliveries such an improvement has not been demonstrated. Morbidity and mortality rates are greater among neonates and infants delivered during the early-term period compared with those delivered between 39 weeks and 40 weeks of gestation. Nevertheless, the rate of nonmedically indicated early-term deliveries continues to increase in the United States. Im...

Committee Opinion Number 560, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The neonatal risks of late preterm (34 0/7–36 6/7 weeks of gestation) and early-term (37 0/7–38 6/7 weeks of gestation) births are well established. However, there are a number of maternal, fetal, and placental complications in which either a late-preterm or early-term delivery is warranted. The timing of delivery in such cases must balance the maternal and newborn risks of late-preterm and early-term delivery with the risks of further continuation of pregnancy. Decisions regarding timing of delivery must be individualized. Amniocentesis for the determination of fetal lung maturity ...

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