New WHO guidelines on postnatal care – a toolbox to provide quality care to women and their newborns

who-postnatal guidelines

FIGO welcomes, endorses and commits action to implement the new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on maternal and newborn care for a positive postnatal experience that were released today.

Most maternal and infant deaths occur in the first six weeks after childbirth, yet this remains a neglected time. Currently, more than three in ten women and babies do not receive postnatal care in the first days after birth. 

Women and newborns require support and careful monitoring after birth. With the launch of its first ever global guidelines to support women and newborns in the postnatal period, the WHO highlights the importance of support and careful monitoring after birth, providing technical guidance for health workers. 

Bringing together over 60 recommendations that help shape a positive postnatal experience for women, babies and families, “the first ever WHO guidelines for postnatal care will be a very important toolbox to reduce the global maternal and neonatal mortality rates” according to Professor Bo Jacobsson, Director of the FIGO Division of Maternal and Newborn Health.

FIGO’s commitment to implementing the new WHO guidelines

FIGO has a vision that women of the world achieve the highest standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives and highlights that this goal can only be achieved through quality care at all stages of life.

FIGO, through the work of its Division of Maternal and Newborn Health, aims to respond to the health needs of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, as well as issues related to newborn health and the impact of pregnancy on women’s long-term health.

We are committed to ensuring newborn and maternal survival and to supporting healthy development of the baby as well as the mother’s overall mental and physical recovery and wellbeing – acknowledging the need to manage physical and emotional consequences of childbirth by providing the right care at the right time.

This is a major step in the right direction for women and newborns’ health in the world. FIGO will help to spread this important information among our member societies and push for their global implementation.

 – Professor Bo Jacobsson, Director of the FIGO Division of Maternal and Newborn Health

Read the WHO’s postnatal care guidelines