"If a standard set of lab tests were performed on every pregnant woman, we would improve outcomes for women and babies."

Laboratory testing during pregnancy:
The Challenges

Every year, nearly one million American women deliver babies without receiving adequate medical attention. Lack of appropriate prenatal care contributes significantly to prematurity, low birthweight, and infant mortality. In addition, inconsistent adherence to recommendations for prenatal care increases the disparity in perinatal outcomes.

Prenatal care has three major components: a comprehensive history, a thorough physical examination, and laboratory testing. Results from laboratory tests can provide valuable clinical information. With this information, a clinician is better able to determine if a woman may be at risk for pregnancy complications and if additional testing or treatment is warranted.

There are three major challenges:

  1. Health care provider awareness of evidence-based recommendations for prenatal laboratory testing.
  2. Application of these evidence-based testing recommendations to all patients.
  3. Access for women to seek and receive a continuum of pre-pregnancy and prenatal care.

Next: What We Are Doing