Perinatal Care

Mary T. Post, RN, MS, CNS, CIC Director, Infection Prevention

Oregon Patient Safety Commission
Portland, OR

Lori K. Irwin, RN, MSN, CNS Professional Practice Leader

Women and Children's Services
Oregon Health and Sciences University
Portland, OR

Emily A. Ackiss MPH, CIC Infection Preventionist

Department of Infection Prevention and Control
Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, OR

October 2, 2014


Outcomes for the woman and the newborn are interdependent and determined by multiple factors, including the woman's health and risk factors for infection, preconception care, prenatal care, intrapartum care, and postpartum care for both the woman and newborn. The well-being of the woman and the newborn requires a vigilant and collaborative approach by the woman, her family, and her healthcare providers. Policies and practices must address prenatal screening and care, intrapartum care, and postpartum management. Current evidence-based recommendations for screening to detect specific infections, treatment of infections, and antibiotic prophylaxis should be followed. Policies must include the use of Standard Precautions, health standards for personnel, aseptic techniques, dress code, visitor policies, environmental cleaning, and reprocessing of equipment. Facility design for obstetrical and newborn areas should follow current guidelines. A targeted surveillance program and analysis of healthcare-associated infections in women and newborns should be established, with the goal of decreasing the risk for healthcare-associated infections.