Helping Babies Breathe

Excerpt from the Global Health Conference Blog, by Dr. George Little, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an initiative of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO), and collaborators such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), and a number of other global health stakeholders.

HBB is an evidence-based educational program to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited areas. The objective of HBB is to train birth attendants in developing countries the essential skills of newborn resuscitation, with the goal of having at least one person who is skilled in neonatal resuscitation at the birth of every baby.

It is aimed at births wherever they occur including those with a single birth attendant, and the curriculum is designed for use as part of a coordinated educational approach to early neonatal care that can be effectively combined with other curricula. HBB can be locally taught to birth attendants in diverse venues and locations and focuses on practices that all persons who care for babies at birth can learn to assist babies who do not breathe on their own. Simply taking the necessary steps of neonatal care (clearing the airway, rubbing the back) that every infant deserves can make all the difference.

A key concept of HBB is The Golden MinuteSM. Within one minute of birth, a baby should be breathing well or should be ventilated with a bag and mask. The Golden Minute identifies the steps that a birth attendant must take immediately after birth to evaluate the baby and stimulate breathing.

HBB is much more than a classroom-based educational program. It is designed to change clinical practice across systems of care. 


Visit the Helping Babies Breathe website and check out Dr. Little’s full posting at the Global Health Conference Blog.

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