The following are some strategies that families and care givers can adopt to take very good care of newborns for better outcomes

The following are some strategies that families and care givers can adopt to take very good care of newborns for better outcomes:

Families should be advised to:

  • Seek prompt medical care if necessary (danger signs include feeding problems, or if the newborn has reduced activity, difficult breathing, a fever, fits or convulsions, or feels cold);
  • Register the birth.
  • Bring the baby for timely vaccination according to national schedules.
  • Some newborns require additional attention and care during hospitalization and at home to minimize their health risks.

Low-birth-weight and preterm babies:

  • If a low-birth weight newborn is identified at home, the family should be helped in locating a hospital or facility to care for the baby.
  • Increased attention to keeping the newborn warm, including skin-to-skin care, unless there are medically justifiable reasons for delayed contact with the mother;
  • Assistance with initiation of breastfeeding, such as helping the mother express breast milk for feeding the baby from a cup or other means if necessary;
  • Extra attention to hygiene, especially hand washing;
  • Extra attention to danger signs and the need for care; and
  • Additional support for breastfeeding and monitoring growth.

 

Sick newborns

  • Danger signs should be identified as soon as possible in health facilities or at home and the baby referred to the appropriate service for further diagnosis and care;
  • If a sick newborn is identified at home, the family should be helped in locating a hospital or facility to care for the baby.

 

Newborns of HIV-infected mothers

  • Preventive antiretroviral treatment (ART) fo“`r mothers and newborns to prevent opportunistic infections;
  • HIV testing and care for exposed infants; and
  • Counselling and support to mothers for infant feeding. Community health workers should be aware of the specialized issues around infant feeding. Many HIV-infected newborns are born prematurely and are more susceptible to infections.

Credit: WHO

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