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This reference manual is intended for use by skilled providers (including midwives, doctors and nurses)—working in low-resource settings at any level of the health care system or in homes—who care for women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, and for newborns. Although the BMNC’s emphasis is on supporting and maintaining the health of the woman and her baby, the manual recognizes that all childbearing women and newborns are at risk of developing life-threatening complications.
Thus, for each phase of the childbearing cycle and early newborn period, the BMNC presents a basic care strategy for: health promotion, through health messages and counseling, as well as birth preparedness/complication readiness; and prevention, early detection and/or initial management of the most common causes of maternal and newborn death and disability. Guidance is also provided on general, cross-cutting issues, such as woman- and newborn-friendly care, infection prevention, male involvement and working with the community. In addition to serving as a reference for skilled providers, the BMNC is also suitable for use in inservice training and preservice education programs. (2004) Available in English and French.