Newborn Care until the First Week of Life: Clinical Practice Pocket Guide

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Every year approximately 40,000 Filipino neonates die, mostly from preventable causes. The majority die within the first week. The high mortality and morbidity rates in newborns are directly related to inappropriate hospital and community practices currently employed throughout the Philippines.

Furthermore, newborn care has fallen in a gap between maternal and child care. Further information is available in the technical review.


This is intended to provide health professionals with a simple, to-the-point, user-friendly, globally accepted evidence-based protocol to essential newborn care focusing on the first week of life which can fit in one’s pocket.

Intended Users

Doctors, nurses, midwives and others involved in caring for mothers and newborns are the target users. It provides a step-by-step guide to administering a core package of essential newborn care interventions that can be administered at all health care settings.

Guideline Development

The Newborn Care Technical Working Group (TWG) conducted a systematic search and appraisal of foreign and local literature on practices in the immediate newborn period. An evidence-based draft was then developed and reviewed by the Department of Health, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine, Save the Children, the academe and other stakeholders.

This Pocket Guide is based on the Pregnancy, Child Birth, Postpartum and Newborn Care (PCPNC) Manual (2006), which in turn was based on guidelines developed and field tested by international experts from many countries including the Philippines, under the guidance of WHO. The TWG requested extensive comments from users of the PCPNC Manual based on their fi eld experience as well as stakeholders who have developed other guidelines or work with newborns. The TWG reviewed the comments to ensure that modifications were only for improving user-friendliness and not modifying scientifi cally proven steps. Any variance from the PCPNC is based on TWG review. The guideline was tested in 3 hospitals for usability and feasibility. Finally, the guideline was reviewed by the WHO. All items present within this guideline are considered to have globally accepted level of evidence.

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