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SMFM Consult Series #54: Assessing the risk of maternal morbidity and mortality

The rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States demand a comprehensive approach to assessing pregnancy-related risks. Numerous medical and nonmedical factors contribute to maternal morbidity and mortality. Reducing the number of women who experience pregnancy morbidity requires identifying which women are at greatest risk and initiating appropriate interventions early in the reproductive life course. The purpose of this Consult is to educate all healthcare practitioners about factors contributing to a high-risk pregnancy, strategies to assess maternal health risks due to pregnancy, and the importance of risk assessment across the reproductive spectrum in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality.