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Guidelines on maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health: recommendations on newborn health

These evidence-based guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) make recommendations for newborn health, aimed at skilled birth attendants and other healthcare providers involved in newborn care.

The first section of the guidelines makes recommendations to prevent, promote and protect newborns. These are separated into three areas:

  • Care of the newborn directly after birth, including recommendations for:
      • Immediate drying and additional stimulation
      • Suction in newborns who start breathing on their own
      • Cord clamping
      • Skin-to-skin contact in the first hour of life
      • Initiation of breastfeeding
      • Vitamin K prophylaxis
  • Postnatal care, including recommendations for:
      • Timing of discharge from the health facility
      • Timing and number of postnatal contacts
      • Home visits in the first week of life
      • Assessment of the newborn
      • Exclusive breastfeeding
      • Cord care
      • Keeping the newborn warm
      • Newborn immunisation

The second section of the guidelines offers recommendations for the management of newborn conditions under the following categories:

  • Newborn resuscitation
  • Management of neonatal sepsis
  • Care of the preterm and low-birth weight newborn
  • Care of the newborn of an HIV-infected mother
  • Management of other severe conditions (including neonatal seizures, neonatal jaundice and necrotising enterocolitis).

To read the guidelines in full, click here>

World Health Organization. (2013). Guidelines on maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health approved or under review by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee: Recommendations on newborn health. Geneva: WHO.
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