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Improve post-natal care - guidelines

Tuesday July 16th, 2013

Women should get improved care after the birth of a baby, according to guidelines published today.

Women should be encouraged to breast-feed and also to ensure the baby sleeps in a safe position, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance.

And it says that every time a professional has contact with a woman, they should check their emotional well-being and their attachment to the baby.

The guidance was welcomed by midwives - but they warned in many areas it might need more staff.

Jane Munro, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “We know that many midwives sometimes struggle to deliver high quality postnatal care because of midwife shortages and lack of resources.

"The challenge for providers will be to ensure midwives have the time to deliver the high quality care these standards are aiming for."

Professor Debra Bick, a midwifery expert at King's College, London, said: "For too long, post-natal care has been an invisible part of maternity care, yet evidence shows us the importance of planned, high quality support for the shorter and longer-term health of women and their babies."

Professor Gillian Leng, of NICE, said: "The period immediately following the birth of a new baby is an exciting, life-changing time, both for the mother, her partner and their family.

"However, such great changes can sometimes feel overwhelming for the mother, so it is important that there are standards in place that outline clear, sensible ways to support and care for women during this hugely significant time in their lives."

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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