This 24th edition of Williams Obstetrics has been extensively and strategically reorganized. Primarily writing for the busy practitioner—those “in the trenches”—we continue to present the detailed staples of basic obstetrics such as maternal anatomy and physiology, preconceptional and prenatal care, labor, delivery, and the puerperium, along with detailed discussions of obstetrical complications exemplified by preterm labor, hemorrhage, hypertension, and many more. Once again, we emphasize the scientific-based underpinnings of clinical obstetrics with special emphasis on biochemical and physiological principles of female reproduction. And, as was the hallmark of previous editions, these dovetail with descriptions of evidencebased practices. The reorganized format allows a greater emphasis on the fetus as a patient along with expanded coverage of fetal diagnosis and therapy. These changes are complemented by more than 100 new sonographic and magnetic resonance images that display normal fetal anatomy and common fetal anomalies. Finally, to emphasize the “M” in maternal–fetal medicine, we continue to iterate the myriad medical and surgical disorders that can complicate pregnancy.
To accomplish these goals, the text has been updated with more than 3000 new literature citations through 2014. Moreover, there are nearly 900 figures that include sonograms, MR images, photographs, micrographs, and data graphs, most in vivid color. Much of the original artwork was rendered by our own medical illustrators. In this edition, as before, we continue to incorporate contemporaneous guidelines from professional and academic organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal–Fetal Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Many of these data are distilled into almost 100 newly constructed tables, in which information has been arranged in a format that is easy to read and use. In addition, several diagnostic and management algorithms have been added to guide practitioners. While we strive to cite numerous sources to provide multiple evidence-based options for such management schemes, we also include our own clinical experiences drawn from a large obstetrical service. As usual, while we are convinced that these are disciplined examples of evidence-based obstetrics, we quickly acknowledge that they do not constitute the sole method of management.