• Maternal Health

    Evidence-based support for maternal health.

    Your patients depend on you to keep them healthy during all stages of their reproductive life. This includes:

    • Providing appropriate preconception care, including family planning and preventive care
    • Guiding patients to make healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices to prepare for pregnancy
    • Promoting a healthy postpartum period for new mothers and their families by supporting breastfeeding, and identifying and managing postpartum depression
    • Providing appropriate interconception care to improve outcomes for subsequent pregnancies

    You may also provide evidence-based prenatal care, and labor and delivery services, including cesarean delivery. Rely on the AAFP’s maternal health resources to support you as you protect the health of your patients before, between and after pregnancies. You can also visit the AAFP's new Center for Women's Health page for additional information to support your practice. 

    Maternity Care

    Family physicians continue to play an important role in providing maternity care in many areas of the United States. In particular, women in rural and urban underserved communities rely on family physicians for comprehensive prenatal care, and labor and delivery services, including cesarean delivery. If you provide maternity care in your practice, the AAFP’s clinical preventive service recommendations on topics ranging from preeclampsia to neural tube defects can help you make evidence-based decisions. Other maternity care resources include:


    You have a unique opportunity to integrate breastfeeding education and support into your ongoing care for women and their families. Encouragement from you and close family members is an important factor in a woman’s decision to breastfeed. The AAFP has compiled valuable resources to support your efforts to create a breastfeeding-friendly office, to promote breastfeeding in your community, and to help the mothers and children in your practice gain the proven health benefits of breastfeeding.

    Maternal Postpartum Depression

    Maternal postpartum depression is common, affecting approximately 1 out of every 7 new mothers in the United States each year. But research shows that it often goes unrecognized or undertreated.  The Translating Screening and Management of Postpartum Depression (TRIPPD) study, conducted by the AAFP’s National Research Network (AAFP NRN), showed that family medicine practices can effectively implement a practical approach to screening for, diagnosing, and managing postpartum depression to improve the well-being of new mothers and their families. Resources developed and used in the TRIPPD study include:


    Did You Know?
     Pelvic Exam or Physical Exams to Prescribe Oral Contraceptive Medications

    According to Choosing Wisely® recommendations, you don’t need to require a pelvic exam or other physical exam in order to prescribe oral contraceptive medications. Hormonal contraception can be safely provided on the basis of medical history and blood pressure measurement.

    Current Vaccine Recommendations for
    Pregnant People

    In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The AAFP recommends these vaccinations for patients who are pregnant: 

    • COVID-19
    • Influenza
    • Tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap)

    A short fact sheet can guide you and your health care team in patient conversations about vaccines needed before, during, and after pregnancy.