Pregnancy Care Guidelines Review

Closed 15 Nov 2018

Opened 16 Oct 2018


This consultation is seeking feedback as part of a review of selected topics under the Pregnancy Care Guidelines.

The topics included in this consultation are:

  • Cervical length measurement to predict preterm birth
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Prolonged pregnancy

Pregnancy Care Guidelines

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high-quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women. They are intended for all health professionals who contribute to antenatal care including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals. They are implemented at national, state, territory and local levels to provide consistency of antenatal care in Australia and ensure maternity services provide high-quality, evidence-based maternity care. The Pregnancy Care Guidelines cover a wide range of topics including routine physical examinations, screening tests and social and lifestyle advice for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines were originally released in two modules known as the Clinical Practice Guidelines - Antenatal Care (Antenatal Care Guidelines). Modules 1 and 2 of the Antenatal Care Guidelines have now been combined and updated to form a single set of consolidated guidelines that were renamed Pregnancy Care Guidelines and publicly released in February 2018. The complete history of the development of the Pregnancy Care Guidelines can be found in the Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care, Administrative Report at:

Review of the Pregnancy Care Guidelines

The Department of Health is undertaking a staged review of the Guidelines to ensure that they remain current and evidence-based. An Expert Working Group (EWG) is overseeing the review of the Guidelines and has prioritised topics for review.  Syphilis, Chlamydia, Cervical length, Cytomegalovirus and Prolonged pregnancy are amongst the topics that the EWG rated as high priority. Cervical length is a new topic being considered that is for inclusion in the chapter on preterm birth.

Following consultation, the draft Guidelines will be submitted to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for its approval under section 14A of the NHMRC Act.

Additional topics are currently being reviewed, along with some new topics, and are expected to be released for public consultation in early to mid 2019.

Three key professional colleges (Australian College of Midwives, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) were invited to provide feedback on the selected topics and research questions, which resulted in some revision to the research questions.

Whilst each stage of the review does not include all topics contained in the Pregnancy Care Guidelines, it is anticipated that a further review stage will commence later in 2019.

Why your views matter

The evidence on selected topics has been reviewed to ensure the recommendations are consistent with the latest evidence to ensure pregnant women receive high quality, evidence based antenatal care.

This consultation is seeking feedback on the Pregnancy Care Guidelines public consultation draft (please also see also links to the evidence evaluation reports below, in ‘Related Documents’) which focuses on the following topics:

Clinical assessment 

  • Cervical length measurement to predict preterm birth

Routine maternal testing

  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus

Clinical assessment in late pregnancy

  • Prolonged pregnancy

Submissions close on 15 November 2018.

What happens next

Your response will be considered by the Department of Health and the EWG to inform this update of the revised Pregnancy Care Guidelines.

The final revised Pregnancy Care Guidelines will be submitted to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for consideration and approval under section 14A of the NHMRC Act.  

The revised Pregnancy Care Guidelines are expected to be publicly released in the first half of 2019.


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