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Postpartum Care of the Mother and Newborn: A Practical Guide


  • Technical Working Group, World Health Organization

    1. This article contains material copyrighted by and reproduced by courtesy of the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
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This paper defines the needs of women and their newborns, and classifies a number of practices common in postpartum care. It is a summary of the report, Postpartum Care of the Mother and Newborn: A Practical Guide, which was developed by a Technical Working Group of the World Health Organization and published in 1998. The report takes a comprehensive view of maternal and newborn needs during the postpartum period, examining major maternal and neonatal health challenges, nutrition and breastfeeding, birth spacing, immunization, HIV/AIDS, and the essential elements of care and service provision. The document lists recommendations, and classifies common practices in the postpartum period, dividing them into four categories: those which are useful, those which are harmful, those for which insufficient evidence exists, and those which are frequently used inappropriately.