Within the continuum of reproductive health care, antenatal care provides a platform for important health-care functions, including health promotion, screening and diagnosis, and disease prevention. It has been established that, by implementing timely and appropriate evidence-based practices, antenatal care can save lives.
Endorsed, by the United Nations Secretary-General, this is a comprehensive WHO guideline on routine antenatal care for pregnant women and adolescent girls. It aims to complement existing WHO guidelines on the management of specific pregnancy-related complications. The guidance aims to capture the complex nature of the antenatal care issues surrounding health-care practices and delivery, and to prioritize person-centred health and well-being - not only the prevention of death and morbidity - in accordance with a human rights-based approach.
"To achieve the Every Woman Every Child vision and the Global Strategy for Women's Children's and Adolescents' Health, we need innovative, evidence-based approaches to antenatal care. I welcome these guidelines, which aim to put women at the centre of care, enhancing their experience of pregnancy and ensuring that babies have the best possible start in life."
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General