WHO issues landmark report on postnatal care for mothers, newborns

Geneva, Mar 30 (EFE).- The World Health Organization on Wednesday published a landmark report listing 60 recommendations for mothers who have just birthed a child in a bid to reduce mortality rates among both babies and women during the first six weeks of a newborn’s life.

Every day, 7,000 newborns and 830 mothers die from complications during childbirth, according to United Nations data.

According to Mercedes Bonet, an expert at WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, around 30% of mothers and babies worldwide do not receive postnatal care in the first six weeks of a newborn’s life.

“Dedicated postnatal services should provide vital physical and mental health support while helping caregivers thrive in providing the right care for their newborns,” Bonet said.

WHO’s report recommends at least three postnatal check-ups during the first six weeks after childbirth.

The agency has also advised new mothers should receive specialist care in health facilities for at least 24 hours after delivering a baby, screening all newborns for possible eye and hearing abnormalities, and vaccinating babies against certain diseases.

In the case of home births, WHO has said health professionals should be contacted promptly and never beyond the first 24 hours following the birth.

Bonet told reporters at the press briefing that in addition to physical postpartum complications, the raft of recommendations focuses on the early prevention of mental health issues among mothers during the fourth trimester, in particular depression and anxiety, which can lead to bonding issues between mother and child.

c, director at WHO’s Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, added that the birth of a baby brings love, hope and emotion, but it can also cause “unprecedented stress and anxiety”.

Identifying illnesses and issues during pregnancy can avoid serious disorders in both mothers and babies postpartum. Anemia is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions and affects 38% of pregnant women.

Banerjee also warned that gender-based violence in the postpartum period can cause chronic problems in women and poses a high risk for the survival of both mother and child. EFE


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