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  1. 1. Introduction
    1. 1.0 Overview
    2. 1.1 What is the Purpose of the Field Guide
    3. 1.2 Who is the Field Guide intended for?
    4. 1.3 How is the Field Guide organized?
  2. 2. Background
    1. 2.0 Overview
    2. 2.1 Humanitarian Settings Across the Globe
      1. 2.1.1 Challenges to Newborn Health Service Delivery
    3. 2.2 Newborn Health: Epidemiology
      1. 2.2.1 Global burden of newborn mortality
      2. 2.2.2 Principal causes of neonatal deaths
  3. 3. Newborn Health Services
    1. 3.0 Overview
    2. 3.1 General Principles and Considerations
      1. 3.1.1 The Continuum of Care Across the Lifecourse
      2. 3.1.2 Levels of Care
    3. 3.2 Essential Newborn Care
    4. 3.3 Newborn Care at Household/Community Level
      1. 3.3.1 During the Antenatal Period
      2. 3.3.2 Intrapartum and essential newborn care
      3. 3.3.3 Postnatal care
    5. 3.4 Newborn Care at Primary Care Facilities
      1. 3.4.1 Antenatal care
      2. 3.4.2 Intrapartum and essential newborn care
      3. 3.4.3 Postnatal care
    6. 3.5 Newborn Care at Hospitals
      1. 3.5.1 Antenatal care
      2. 3.5.2 Intrapartum and essential newborn care
      3. 3.5.3 Postnatal care
    7. 3.6 Additional Considerations for Preventing and Managing Principal Causes of Neonatal Deaths
      1. 3.6.1 Prematurity/Low Birth Weight (LBW)
      2. 3.6.2 Newborn Infections
      3. 3.6.3 Intrapartum Complications
  4. 4. Strategic Considerations
    1. 4.0 Overview
    2. 4.1 Mainstreaming newborn health in humanitarian coordination
      1. 4.1.1 Incorporate questions about newborn health services within a rapid health assessment
      2. 4.1.2 Advocate for the inclusion and prioritisation of newborn health in humanitarian response plans
    3. 4.2 Conducting a situational analysis
      1. 4.2.1 Examine national policies and protocols relevant to newborn health
      2. 4.2.2 Examine existing clinical guidelines, key messages/ BCC materials, tools and training materials
      3. 4.2.3 Assess resource availability: facilities, supplies and staff
    4. 4.3 Developing an inclusive and unified response strategy
      1. 4.3.1 Prioritizing newborn interventions
      2. 4.3.2 Update and distribute clinical guidelines and protocols
      3. 4.3.3 Develop and collate needs based staff training materials
      4. 4.3.4 Procure and distribute essential medicines and supplies
      5. 4.3.5 Ensure quality improvement and respectful care
      6. 4.3.6 Develop proposals to secure additional funding
    5. 4.4 Developing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan
      1. 4.4.1 Compromised data flow and routine information systems
  5. 5. Program Implementation Considerations
    1. 5.0 Overview
    2. 5.1 Developing and disseminating key messages/behavior change communication (BCC) materials
    3. 5.2 Developing a referral system
      1. 5.2.1 When referral is not feasible
    4. 5.3 Home visits for mothers and babies
    5. 5.4 Procuring newborn care supply kits
    6. 5.5 Managing newborn deaths in crisis settings
      1. 5.5.1 Support for neonatal loss
      2. 5.5.2 Documenting neonatal loss
  6. 6. Annexes
    1. 6.1 Annex 1: Newborn health services summary tables by levels of care
      1. 6.1.1 Annex 1A
      2. 6.1.2 Annex 1B
      3. 6.1.3 Annex 1C
    2. 6.2 Annex 2: Doses of Common Drugs for Neonates
    3. 6.3 Annex 3: Advanced Care for Very Sick Newborns
    4. 6.4 Annex 4: Tools to Support Neonatal Referrals
      1. 6.4.1 Annex 4A: When to Refer a Newborn to the Hospital
      2. 6.4.2 Annex 4B: Job Aid: Transporting the Sick Newborn
      3. 6.4.3 Annex 4C: Sample Referral Note
    5. 6.5 Annex 5: Newborn Kits for Humanitarian Settings
    6. 6.6 Annex 6: Indicators
      1. 6.6.1 Annex 6A: Newborn Health Indicators for Routine Data Systems
      2. 6.6.2 Annex 6B: List of Indicators and Questions to Measure Facility Capacity to Provide Key Newborn Health Services
Newborn Field Guide

5.3 Home visits for mothers and babies

Photo credits: Save the Children/Hannah Maule-Ffinch

Delivery and immediate postnatal care in a health facility or hospital is recommended for all women and their babies, in all situations—including humanitarian settings. However, during and immediately following a crisis, women may not be able to leave their residences to access care in health facilities. In addition, many cultures advocate a seclusion period where mothers and newborns do not go outdoors. This can range from 7–40 days, making seeking care outside the home a difficult negotiation. Note that in some settings, community-based health programs do not exist, thus making it difficult to establish home visits. Mothers should be encouraged to access the health facility within the first week of life, where possible.

Nurses and midwives are not the only staff who can provide postnatal care: CHWs, Home Visitors and other lay health workers can be trained to provide postnatal care at the household level, ensuring that linkages to the formal health care are maintained through an effective referral network (Box 5.3). This type of task-shifting can be particularly useful in humanitarian settings, which frequently experience a shortage of local healthcare workers. Lay health workers can provide: promotion of essential newborn care, exclusive breastfeeding, postpartum care, KMCabbreviation and immunization according to national guidelines.

Box 5.3: Life-saving home visits for mothers and newborns

In crisis settings, women who give birth outside of a health care facility without skilled care, and in areas where continuous professional care cannot be assured, face an increased risk of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. Home visits in the first week of life are a proven strategy to reduce newborn deaths in high mortality settings and link women and their babies to ongoing services. Especially in settings where women cannot access health care due to logistical or security reasons, deploy trained CHWs or other skilled health staff to provide postnatal care through home visits. These Home Visitors can detect signs of serious illness in the mother and baby, and reinforce these dangers signs to the mother and other household members (Box 3.3 and Box 3.4). Counseling families on danger signs and available services can increase family-initiated referrals. Home Visitors can leave a poster or card listing the danger signs (including pictorially) and their phone number in case of an emergency. Where insecurity or destruction of roads impedes home visits, other ways to follow up with mother and baby, such as structured phone calls, should be identified. It is important to promote a return to the health facility for a well-baby postnatal visit within the first week as services, security and local customs allow.

WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement, Home Visits for the Newborn Child: A Strategy to Improve Survival, 2009.

Maternity waiting homes have been successfully piloted in some humanitarian settings; however, the current evidence is insufficient to determine whether maternity waiting home improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in crises.

Abbreviations