Some women give birth at home with qualified staff; others can not have a qualified attendant present. Some women who give birth in the facility will spend time after childbirth.
WHO recommends that women are not discharged before 24 hours after birth. Whatever the place of delivery, someone must follow the woman and newborn during the initial 24 hours after delivery to respond to any change in her or the state of her baby.
Many difficulties can occur within the initial 24 hours. Following birth at home, the mother and baby must receive a postnatal check as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of birth.
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There are several important points to discuss with the woman and her family after birth to ensure that women have adequate care.
1. The value of having someone nearby for the first 24 hours.
2. The size and timing of postnatal visits recommended.
3. The quality of the new mother to eat healthier foods and – discuss in the context of practices and local taboos for women to have access to good nutrition. The new mother should also drink plenty of clean safe water.
4. The importance of rest and sleep and the need to avoid hard physical work.
5. Discussion of common postpartum bleeding – talk to women about blood loss they can expect, for how long. When bleeding is more than normal, they should seek emergency care.
6. Discuss danger signs for the woman and the baby and the importance of asking for help quickly.