What is Facts for Life?
Using Facts for Life
Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health
Child Development and Early Learning
Nutrition and Growth
Coughs, Colds and More Serious Illnesses
Emergencies: Preparedness and Response
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A healthy mother, a safe birth, essential newborn care and attention, a loving family and a clean home environment contribute greatly to newborn health and survival.
Newborns need to be carefully cared for around the clock, loved, kept clean and warm, and fed. Mothers and fathers or other primary caregivers who meet their basic needs contribute to building the foundation of the babies' future health, happiness, growth, learning and development.
A newborn thrives when she or he is:
A skilled birth attendant will:
Babies born early or with low birthweight or babies with other special needs require special care, love and attention to ensure their survival and optimal growth and development.
A skilled birth attendant can play a critical role in instructing the mother and father on how to care for their baby with special needs.
Some babies may need extra care at a special care unit of a hospital until they are sufficiently developed or well enough to go home with the parents. If a baby is not yet able to breastfeed, the mother can express her milk and safely store it so it can be fed to the baby using a sterilized feeding tube, spoon or cup.
Caring for a newborn brings joy to the mother and father as well as anxiety and fatigue as they adjust to having full-time care of the new baby in their lives. Since newborns are generally dependent on their parents to provide for their every need, mothers and fathers need to take good care of themselves. Breastfeeding mothers especially need to eat more nutritious food, and all mothers should get more rest. A father can support the mother while she breastfeeds by caring for the household and other children or by caring for the newborn while she rests.