Action 8: Promote Healthy Baby and Mother Care


8. Promote healthy baby and mother care: Good neonatal care and healthy motherhood are cornerstones of reproductive health. They optimize current fertility and reduce the risk of future infertility and childlessness. Providers in fertility/infertility programmes should identify, support and collaborate with providers, organisations and social services that enable and enhance neonatal care and healthy motherhood.

Specific threats to babies include poor nutrition post-partum, inadequate health care, and inadequate mother and family situations. Specific threats to mothers include ongoing postpartum medical problems, postpartum depression, inadequate education, inadequate resources and problem family situations.

Childlessness can be a choice not to have children. It may also be due to failure to get pregnant, miscarriages, stillbirths, neonatal deaths or childhood deaths. For all who wish to avoid childlessness, it is important not just to get pregnant but to have a healthy child and family. All efforts that increase healthy childbirths will reduce demand for additional infertility services.

Providers therefore need to identify, support and collaborate with referral sources that can help achieve the goal of a healthy baby and family. This includes helping establish good early childhood health care and care and support for the mother after she has delivered.

Infertile patients should be educated about these resources and their value in having a healthy family at the latest in the hospital after delivery.

For women who deliver at home, this education as well as services can be provided when the baby is taken to a PCP for monitoring and follow-up care.