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Where Is the “M” in Maternal–Fetal Medicine?

D'Alton, Mary E. MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181fd2556
Current Commentary

In contrast to the generally encouraging trend regarding global maternal mortality, there has been an apparent increase in the maternal mortality ratio in the United States. Although maternal death remains a relatively rare adverse event in this country, programs to reduce maternal mortality also will result in a reduction in maternal morbidity, which is a far more prevalent problem. Progress in the field of maternal–fetal medicine over the past several decades has been largely attributable to improvements in fetal and neonatal medicine. We need to develop an organized, national approach focused on reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. The goal will be to outline a specific plan for clinical, educational, and research initiatives to put the “M” back in maternal–fetal medicine.

It is time for an organized, national program to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York.

Corresponding author: Mary E. D'Alton, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, PH-16-28, New York, NY 10032; email:

Financial Disclosure The author did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2010 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.