American Academy of Nursing Announces Obstetric and Newborn Recommendations in Choosing Wisely® Campaign

Academy Cites Three Obstetric and Newborn-Specific Treatment Approaches Identified by AWHONN that Are Not Always Necessary or Advisable

Grapevine, TX – The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), which is a member of  the American Academy of Nursing’s  Choosing Wisely Task Force, has identified treatment approaches that may not always be necessary or in the best interests of women and newborns.

The Choosing Wisely® campaign is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to encourage conversations between patients and healthcare professionals about what care is genuinely necessary. The Academy is among the first non-physician organizations to release recommendations.  It leads the nursing profession’s efforts in the Choosing Wisely® campaign through its task force composed of Academy fellows who are leaders of many national nursing organizations including AWHONN. The AWHONN recommendations have been endorsed by the Academy Choosing Wisely Task Force.

“Nurses play a critical role in ensuring that women and their families receive the information needed to make sound decisions about their care,” said AWHONN’s Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Erdman, MN, RN, FAAN. “The Academy’s Choosing Wisely campaign helps to reinforce the expertise of nurses and their critical role in the ongoing dialogue between patients, their families and healthcare professionals.”

“The Academy applauds AWHONN for setting forth critical maternal and newborn care recommendations that are supported by a broad body of evidence. These will serve as a helpful resource for pregnant women and their families to have important discussions with their providers about the best course of treatment throughout pregnancy, during labor and after delivery,” said Academy President, Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

The Academy’s list of “Fifteen Things Nurses and Patients Should Question,” includes items 11-13 which are specifically relevant to obstetric and neonatal care, and will aid women and their families in choosing care that is supported by evidence, is not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, is free from harm, and is truly necessary.  The list may be found at

The Choosing Wisely®, “Things Nurses and Patients Should Question,” identified by AWHONN include:

  • Don’t promote induction or augmentation of labor and don’t induce or augment labor without a medical indication; spontaneous labor is safest for woman and infant, with benefits that improve safety and promote short- and long-term maternal and infant health.
  • Don’t prescribe opioid pain medication in pregnancy without discussing and fully weighing the risks to the woman and her fetus.
  • Don’t separate mothers and their newborns at birth unless medically necessary. Instead, help the mother to place her newborn in skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and encourage her to keep her newborn in her room during hospitalization after the birth.

To date, the ABIM Choosing Wisely® initiative has engaged nearly 100 national and state medical specialty societies, regional health collaboratives and consumer organizations, and has identified more than 450 tests and treatments that have been described as overused and inappropriate, and should be discussed with patients.


About the American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing ( serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy’s more than 2,400 fellows are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.



Since 1969, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has been the foremost authority promoting the health of women and newborns and strengthening the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education, and other professional and clinical resources. AWHONN represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women’s health, obstetric, and neonatal nursing across the United States. Learn more about AWHONN at


About ABIM Foundation

The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. Learn more at