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Pregnant patient consulting with healthcare provider.
Figure 12.1 Conditions That Increase Risk in Pregnancy Conditions that exist prior to pregnancy or problems that arise during pregnancy place the pregnant person and fetus at increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Health-care professionals play a pivotal role reducing these risks through provision of care before, during, and after pregnancy. (credit: “A glimpse into Labor and Delivery” by Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois/Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Public Domain)

Some conditions that specifically occur during pregnancy and some that exist prior to pregnancy are linked to increased maternal, fetal, and newborn morbidity and mortality. Awareness of preexisting conditions and prompt diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy-specific conditions can optimize management through individualized collaborative plans of care and lead to improved maternal, fetal, and newborn outcomes. As primary caregivers, nurses play a key role in the implementation of the plans of care and early recognition of when the unexpected occurs.

Nurses also collaborate with other health-care professionals, such as obstetricians, nurse practitioners, midwives, social workers, nutritionists, and pharmacists, to develop comprehensive care plans that support health and well-being during pregnancy and beyond. In addition, nurses advocate for patients by promoting informed decision making and ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care possible.


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