WHO Recommendations on Postnatal Care of the Mother and Newborn

The primary audience for these guidelines is health professionals who are responsible for providing postnatal care to women and newborns, primarily in areas where resources are limited. These health professionals include physicians, midwives, nurses and auxiliary nurse-midwives providing primary health care in facilities and at home.

The guidelines are also expected to be used by policy-makers and managers of maternal and child health programs, health facilities, and teaching institutions to set up and maintain maternity and newborn care services. They focus on postnatal care of mothers and newborns in resource-limited settings in low- and middle-income countries.

The critical maternal health outcome considered was maternal morbidity (including haemorrhage, infections, anaemia and depression).

The two critical neonatal outcomes were neonatal mortality and morbidity.

Other important outcomes included growth, cognitive development and breastfeeding status.

The guidelines address timing, number and place of postnatal contacts, and content of postnatal care for all mothers and babies during the six weeks after birth.

Last modified: July 23, 2021

Language: English