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Planning and Counselling for High Risk Pregnancies: Best to Start Early!

5 Jul 2017, by Informa


MichaelPeekIn the lead up to the 9th Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference, we were delighted to talk with Professor Michael Peek, Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist, The Canberra Hospital and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Associate Dean, The Australian National University. Michael will be delivering a keynote address at this year’s conference “Planning and Counselling for High Risk Pregnancies: Best to Start Early! ” so we had him answer a few questions in the lead up to the event.


INFORMA: We are delighted to have you present a keynote address at the 2017 Obstetric Malpractice Conference. What have been some of the highlights of your career to date in terms of specialising in high risk pregnancies?


Michael: Academically maternal fetal medicine is exciting it involves both complex medicine and surgery in the challenging and sometimes conflicting situation of balancing the health of the mother against the health of the baby. It is such an important area as developmental origins of health and disease research has shown us that what happens to you as a fetus and child has major implications on your health later in life.
I enjoy working in teams and maternal fetal medicine has given me the opportunity to work with diverse teams including obstetric physicians, neonatal surgeons, neonatologists and midwives. I have had the pleasure of working at a number of great maternity hospitals both in Australia and England with colleagues with whom I still have regular contact and do collaborative research.


You are going to present an address based around Planning and Counselling for High Risk Pregnancies: Best to Start Early! Without giving too much away about the upcoming presentation, are you able to share your thoughts on the most avoidable errors that occur in planning and counselling for high risk pregnancies?


Women with high risk pregnancies often get conflicting information about what they should do from different members of the health team. Not that any one of them is necessarily wrong it is just each is often purely looking at their area and not the whole picture. A common and frustrating error is the team not getting together to work out a holistic plan. Not all outcomes are good with high risk pregnancies. If there has been conflicting information given to women during these unsuccessful pregnancies then even greater unhappiness follows.


Given your vast experience, if you could give one piece of advice to a junior midwife or obstetrician what would it be?


Never be afraid to ask for advice and other opinions. And don’t be afraid to explain to the women that you are seeking others’ opinions when circumstances are difficult or uncertain.



Are there any presentations from the 2017 Obstetric Malpractice Conference that you are particularly looking forward to? 


The two that are related to my line of work
1. Fetal Growth Restriction as a Risk Factor for Stillbirth – How can we Improve Antenatal Detection and Management?
2. KEYNOTE OPENING ADDRESS | Coercion and Consent in Maternity Care



Michael Peek is the Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Sydney. He is a sub-specialist in maternal–fetal medicine at Nepean Hospital and has over 20 years experience in high-risk obstetrics with a particular interest in maternal medicine. He is a member and previous holder of various council positions in a number of national and international maternal and perinatal societies. He brings experience in the classification and audit of maternal medical disorders and the administration and coordination of high-risk obstetric services.


See presentations by Michael and 20 other speakers at this year’s Obstetric Malpractice Conference on the 8 – 9 August 2017 at the Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne.


This is the premier event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region and has been very well-received over the last 8 years.


No other event brings together such an excellent representation of top obstetric surgeons and barristers and other legal professionals with key addresses from leading obstetricians, midwives and lawyers, making it a key event on the obstetric, midwifery and legal calendar.



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