Teaching family-centered perinatal care in family medicine, Part I.
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Pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and infant care are a continuum in the family life cycle for which the family physician is especially qualified to provide primary, comprehensive care. The purpose of this paper is to document and share the controversies, wisdom, and knowledge about caring for women and their families before, during, and after pregnancy. Family physicians can be leaders in developing an appropriate perinatal care system for the community. The level of care the family physician chooses to provide is discretionary. However, the family physician should be invested in ensuring that all families receive the greatest benefit from pregnancy, birth, and the newborn experience. Interest in perinatal care in family medicine is increasing, as reflected by the growing numbers participating in the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Working Group on Family-Centered Perinatal Care. The authors of this article, who are active in this working group, hope that this information is useful in designing a balanced curriculum and delivery system for perinatal care in family medicine training programs.
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