Division of Maternal and Newborn Health – December 2022 update

Division Director: Professor Bo Jacobsson  

The Division of Maternal and Newborn Health has been progressing on a number of key areas for FIGO.  

Division Director Professor Bo Jacobsson said,

Collaboration is big in our division. What we have done mainly during 2021 and 2022 is that we have established ourselves as a very important collaborator in the Born Too Soon decade work, and that is going to come out in 2023. The plan is that we are going to be a part of this kind of wave that we build along maternal newborn health in general and preterm delivery in particular. That is a very important issue. And we want to be a very kind of solid collaborator in many ways. I hope that we will be able to launch a FIGO global health leadership training program during 2023. 

Committee on Childbirth and Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH)

Committee Chair: Dr Wanda Nicholson

In 2022, FIGO’s Childbirth and PPH Committee has developed an IJGO supplement and worked with the Carbetocin Stakeholder Group. 

Committee Chair Wanda Nicholson said,

Our committee has been very, very active during 2022. Our proposal was approved by the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics for a supplement that we've been working on over this past year. It will consist of a series of six articles, all under the conceptual framework of optimising the childbirth experience, particularly in women in the low and middle resource countries.

With the Carbetocin Stakeholder Group and Dr Jeanne Conry, we have worked on the appropriate use of carbetocin in the status of postpartum haemorrhage, helping draft a position statement around this topic, and have now submitted an abstract to the upcoming meeting 'Align Maternal Newborn Health' which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa in May of 2023.

Committee on Impact of Pregnancy on Long Term Health

Committee Chair: Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe 

In 2022, FIGO’s Impact of Pregnancy on Long-term Health Committee divided itself into four streams: nutrition, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, with a focus on producing educational documents and guidance. 

Committee Chair Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe said,

We've produced guidance on how to look after women living with obesity over the life course, and another best practice legal advice on how to prevent Type II diabetes following pregnancy with gestational diabetes. A third document is on prevention of cardiovascular disease in women following hypertensive disease and pregnancy. And then a fourth one is looking at the FIGO nutrition checklist and a review of international guidance and how it can be used.

Committee on Infections During Pregnancy

Committee Chair: Dr Eliana Amaral  

FIGO’s Committee on Infections During Pregnancy has put a lot of effort into organising meetings such as the vaccination workshop that took place in July 2022 in Prague, and contributing to the FIGO Regional Congress – Cartagena 2022. 

Committee Chair Dr Eliana Amal said,

The committee has worked hard on making proposals for this meeting in Cartagena and the meeting in Paris. We have also been working on a paper that is about the vaccination for pregnant women, so the idea is to have an update, a very good guideline for the world. Since the beginning, one of our goals is to have more and more educational materials available, because infections, particularly people, have lots of doubts about the opportunities to learn about infection around the world. On the other side, we have new vaccines that are being produced in for the future. So, educational materials are very important in this area and it will be our main goal for 2023.

Committee on Preterm Birth

Committee Chair: Professor Andrew Shennan 

FIGO’s Committee on Preterm Birth has begun to present some of its previous work, such as the FIGO guidelines on preterm birth.   

Chair of the Committee on Preterm Birth, Professor Andrew Shennan, said,

We've been involved in informing and helping European guidelines. The WHO guidelines on internatal steroids and tocolysis have come out. We're also looking at models of care in midwifery practice that impacts on preterm birth. We're looking at timing of delivery, particularly in pre-eclampsia, and we're looking at cervical damage, which we think is a really important focus for preventing preterm birth in the future.

Committee on Health Systems Strengthening and Respectful Care

Committee Chair: Dr Pius Okong  

In 2022, the FIGO Committee on Health Systems Strengthening and Respectful Care has progressed on a number of fronts, including collaboration with other FIGO committees. 

Committee Chair Professor Pius Okong said,

On respectful care, we are reaching out to the Committee on Safe Abortion and starting the process of sharing a concept so that the same principle can be applied for respectful care in abortion. We've started reviewing the quality of maternal newborn health care in relation to the health system, especially in light of Covid-19. And this is a paper that will review the current system with systematic review. We have also collaborated with a number of other committees, specifically on long term effects of some conditions on women's health, and have submitted a number of sessions for Paris 2023, which are waiting for approval.