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In 2015, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine issued a joint care consensus document intended to develop standards for designations of levels of maternal care that are complimentary to, but distinct from, neonatal levels of care. Level III and Level IV centers must be prepared to provide obstetric intensive care services. Developing a critical care obstetric program is a resource-intensive process that requires a carefully planned strategic effort essential for successful program implementation and sustainability. In this article, a framework utilizing key components of program development is discussed including environment, scope, model, education and training, maternal transport, and unique aspects of care for women who become critically ill during pregnancy or the postpartum period.