Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Caring for newborns and children in the community

Caring for the newborn at home


World Health Organization


The WHO Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA) and UNICEF initiated the development of the materials Caring for the newborn at home, to increase access to postnatal care services and essential interventions for pregnant and lactating women and their newborn infants. They are a follow-up to the WHO/UNICEF joint statement on home visits for the newborn child: a strategy to improve survival (2009).

The training materials draw on experiences of training community health workers in caring for the newborn at home in several research studies, particularly the SEARCH study in India and the NEWHINTS study in Ghana. The materials provide guidance for community health workers to conduct home visits in the antenatal period and the first weeks after the baby is born. They promote that families seek care from a skilled health professional for antenatal care and care at birth and support families in adopting appropriate home care practices for the mother and baby, during pregnancy and after childbirth.

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