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Table 4 Actions during pregnancy to prevent or manage preterm birth

From: Born Too Soon: Care during pregnancy and childbirth to reduce preterm deliveries and improve health outcomes of the preterm baby

Invest and plan
• Ensure national policies and guidelines exist and provide adequate protection of pregnant women and universal access to comprehensive antenatal, labour and birth, emergency obstetric and postnatal care.
• Allocate adequate resources for the provision of equitable and high-quality antenatal care, and removal of barriers to care such as user fees.
Implement
• Seize opportunities to leverage resources, approaches, and training opportunities from existing programmes (including non-health programmes)
• Ensure the existence of a functional referral system, procurement system, an adequately trained and supervised health work force, and quality services for all pregnant women. Inform communities about the importance of antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care for all women, and warning signs including early recognition of preterm labour.
Inform and improve programme coverage and quality
• Address data gaps and increase sound monitoring and evaluation of programmes to improve service quality and outreach to the poorest populations.
• Prioritize implementation research to promote the scale up of effective interventions in different contexts and across different population groups.
Innovate and undertake implementation research
• Invest in discovery research on the basic biology of normal and abnormal pregnancy, genetic determinants of preterm birth, and epidemiological research on maternal risk factors to provide the evidence base needed for the development of effective prevention and treatment strategies.
We all share in the responsibility of making sure pregnant women around the world receive the care they need for healthy birth outcomes.
  1. Source: Born Too Soon report [1].