Historically, the community maternal health has largely concentrated on access to high-quality parenthood care during pregnancy, labor, and birth. The postnatal period or postpartum, defined as six weeks after childbirth, is equally important.
Postpartum hemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide. Although the risk of maternal death is the highest during labor and delivery and in the first days after birth, there is evidence that women are vulnerable up to six months postpartum.
The afterbirth care is critical for newborns as well: More infant deaths happen during the neonatal phase, and about three-quarters of neonatal deaths occur in the initial week of life.
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Timely care quality is essential to maximize postnatal maternal and newborn health. Postnatal visits are an opportunity for vendors to facilitate healthy feeding practices, postpartum depression screen, monitor the growth of the newborn and general health.
The World Health Organization recommends that all women and newborns get at least three contacts after birth, the first 48 to 72 hours, the second between 7 and 14 days and the third postpartum six weeks.
According to the most recent data at the country level, on average 58% of women around the world postnatal visits attend themselves, ranging from 9% to 98%, and an average of 28% of women bring their young children to postnatal check-ups, ranging from 5% to 99%.