Improving #POSTBIRTH Discharge Education About Potential Complications
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QI Saves Lives!

Key Facts:

#1 - Over 50% of maternal deaths occur in the postpartum period compared to 16.8% on the day of delivery

#2 - 18% of these maternal deaths occurred 1-6 days postpartum and 21% occurred 7-41 days postpartum

#3 - It is impossible to predict with any certainty which women will have a postpartum complication

#4 - All women need education on which signs and symptoms are emergencies and which require urgent care

#5 - RN's who provide discharge education are in a key role to educate women about the signs & symptoms of potential postpartum complications



Links to Additional Information

PQI 10.3.17 Teleconference presented by Dr. Debra Bingham:  Improving Discharge Education About Potential #POSTBIRTH Complications


August 2018, NPR and ProPublica Interview

Resources developed under the direction of Dr. Bingham for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses:



For Professionals:

Bingham, D. & Cornell, A. (2016). Expert panel to track nurses’ effect on maternal morbidity and mortality.  Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing:  JOGNN/NAACOG. Referred


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System.


Council on Patient Safety in Women's Health Care (2016). Maternal safety bundle on postpartum care basics for maternal safety: from birth to the comprehensive postpartum visit.


Creanga, A.A., Syverson, C., Seed, K., & Callaghan, W.M. (2017). Pregnancy-related mortality in the United States, 2011-2013. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 130(2), pp. 366-373.


Kleppel, L., Suplee, P. D, Stuebe, A. D., & Bingham, D.  (2016).  National initiatives to improve systems for postpartum care. Maternal and Child Health Journal. Refereed.


Suplee, P.D., Bingham, D, & Kleppel, L. (2017). Nurses' knowledge and teaching of possible postpartum complications.The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing.


Suplee, P. D., Kleppel, L., Santa-Donato, A., & Bingham, D.  (2016). Improving postpartum education about maternal morbidity and mortality warning signs. Nursing for Women’s Health. Refereed.


Suplee, P. D., Kleppel, L., and Bingham, D.  (2016).  Discharge education on maternal morbidity and mortality provided by nurses to women during the postpartum period.  Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. Refereed.


Seacrist, M. & Noell, D. (2016). Development of a tool to measure nurse clinical judgement during a maternal mortality case review. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. Refereed.


For Consumers:

Kleppel, L. (2016). Learn these POST-BIRTH warning signs. Healthy Mom&Baby