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MHTF Quarterly, Issue 4: Antenatal and Postnatal Care

 

The MHTF Quarterly shares resources, research and news in key maternal health areas.  Our focus here is on antenatal and postnatal care for improving maternal and newborn health.

Antenatal care (ANC) is essential for connecting pregnant women with the health system, promoting healthy behaviors during pregnancy and the post-partum period, encouraging delivery with a skilled provider, identifying and treating health problems, and raising awareness of danger signs that may arise throughout pregnancy.
 
Similarly, postnatal care (PNC), intended for all postpartum women regardless of delivery location, ensures that complications in both women and newborns are detected quickly and managed appropriately, while also providing women with the resources they need to remain healthy between pregnancies.
 
In order to be effective, both ANC and PNC must be high-quality and evidence-based.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends focused ANC (FANC): a model with evidence-based interventions organized into a series of four individualized visits that include preventative care, treatment, and health promotion. During the four visits, the provider will screen the woman for complications, such as anemia and high blood pressure; measure fetal growth; counsel the woman on birth preparedness and maintaining a healthy pregnancy; and answer any questions of the woman and her partner. With the FANC recommendations in place since 2002, the WHO is currently reviewing the guidelines, with plans to release an updated version in the next year.
 
The WHO also has guidelines for PNC which “address timing, number and place of postnatal contacts, and content of PNC for all mothers and babies during the six weeks after birth.” Twelve evidence-based recommendations address the needs of women who suffer severe morbidity during delivery; cord care for newborns; postnatal assessments for mothers and newborns; and psychosocial support for women.
 
Worldwide, just 56% of pregnant women receive all four ANC visits as recommended by the WHO. Coverage of postnatal care is even lower: of the two-thirds of women give birth at home in sub-Saharan Africa, just 13% receive any postnatal visit within two days of birth. Meanwhile, an estimated 60% of maternal deaths in the developing world occur during the six-week period after childbirth.

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Featured Resources

  • Adding Content to Contact: Antenatal and Postnatal Case Studies
    This resource showcases eight case studies from the Adding Content to Contact (ACC) projec, highlighting innovative and successful methods of delivering ANC and PNC in a variety of settings. The project is examining care delivery around the world and how to best adopt and scale up ANC and PNC in resource-poor settings.

 
Browse more technical resources on our Antenatal Care and Postnatal Care health topic pages.

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Resources

 

Guidelines

e-Learning Modules

Toolkits and Guides


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Publications

Check out all the most recent publications on antenatal and postnatal care.
 
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MHTF blog


Check out MHTF’s Continuum of Care blog series to learn about trends, innovations, and new ideas around delivering quality ANC and PNC. Check out our posts on structured mentorship by Partners in Health and the importance of ANC by Save the Children. Join the conversation and share a guest blog post about your work. Contact Katie Millar for more information on contributing to the MHTF Blog.

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More from the MHTF


Twitter


Stay up-to-date: @MHTF’s twitter feed keeps you current with the latest in information on antenatal care, postnatal care, and other maternal health subjects.
 

Innovative Methods of Delivering Antenatal Care: A Policy Dialogue


In June, the MHTF partnered with the Wilson Center and UNFPA to present the policy dialogue, “Delivering Quality Antenatal Care in Low Resource Settings: Examining Innovative Models and Planning For Scale up.” Check out this link for a full video of the event.
 

The MHTF Antenatal and Postnatal Care Topic Pages


MHTF’s topic pages on antenatal and postnatal care enable you to explore additional resources, recent publications, and blog posts related to these important areas of research.

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Contact us!


The MHTF is always looking for new resources, research, perspectives and news on this important issue. We invite your feedback and any resources you’d like to share! Please contact Katie Millar, kmillar@hsph.harvard.edu, with comments, suggestions and questions.

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Copyright © 2014 Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, All rights reserved.


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