Pregnancy: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Thursday, February 07, 2019

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Describe the key stages of embryonic and fetal development and the risks that medicines may pose.
  • Outline strategies to reduce the risk of harm from medicines during pregnancy.
  • Help patients make informed decisions about using medicines during pregnancy.

You can download a PDF of this whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning Exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 90 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning Exercises.


If you are a hospital pre-registration pharmacist, this tutorial may help you achieve GPhC performance standards such as these:
  • A1.6 Make decisions which demonstrate clear and logical thought
  • A2.4  Use resources effectively
  • B1.11 Provide information and advice appropriate to the needs of the recipient(s)
  • C2.1 Provide considered and correct answers to queries, founded on research-based evidence

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may assist with meeting certain competencies from the RPS framework including:
  • 1.2 Need for the medicine (relevant patient background)
  • 1.4  Selection of the medicine (medicine-medicine, medicine-patient, and medicine-disease interactions)
  • 1.5  Medicine specific issues (ensures appropriate dose for any patient)
  • 1.6 Medicines information and patient education (medicines information, provides appropriate written and verbal information)
  • 3.1 Gathering information
  • 3.3  Analysing information

Continuing professional development

Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

 ★  Shadowing your women's health pharmacist on their antenatal ward round(s). What are the most common medical reasons for hospital admission? What are the most frequently prescribed medicines?

 ★  Present a case of a commonly encountered acute medical problem seen in pregnancy (e.g. VTE, hypertension). Does the treatment differ compared to a non-pregnant patient? Does your Trust have guidelines on the subject?

★  Find out how pregnant women with chronic illness, such as epilepsy, are supported locally. Arrange to sit in on a clinic and speak to a patient about their experience of managing their health whilst pregnant. Have they had to make changes to their medication? How do they access information about medicines and their safety in pregnancy? Have they had to have extra tests/monitoring?