• Mothers and newborns should receive routine postnatal care. Four routine postpartum contacts are recommended:
    1. In the facility for the first 24 hours or at home within the first 24 hours
    2. On day 3
    3. In days 7 through 14
    4. At 6 weeks
  • Coordinate family planning visits with an infant’s immunization schedule.
  • Optimal breastfeeding offers triple value: important improvements in child survival and health, better health for mothers, and temporary contraception (see Lactational Amenorrhea Method). Still, any breastfeeding is better than none (except if a woman has HIV; see Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV)
Guidelines for Best Breastfeeding
  1. Begin breastfeeding the newborn as soon as possible—within 1 hour after delivery

    • This stimulates uterine contractions that may help prevent heavy
      bleeding.
    • It helps the infant to establish suckling early, which stimulates milk production.
    • Colostrum, the yellowish milk produced in the first days after childbirth, provides important nutrients for the child and transfers immunities from mother to child.
  2. Fully or nearly fully breastfeed for 6 months
    • Mother’s milk alone can fully nourish a baby for the first 6 months of life.
    • Avoids the risks of feeding the baby contaminated liquids or foods.
    • Full breastfeeding provides contraceptive benefits for the first 6 months as long as monthly bleeding has not returned (see Lactational Amenorrhea Method).
  3. At 6 months, add other foods to breastfeeding
    • After 6 months babies need a variety of foods in addition to breast milk.
    • At each feeding breastfeed before giving other foods.
    • Breastfeeding can and should continue through the child’s second year or longer.

breastfeeding