Postnatal Care

Nurse Pili Makota counsels pregnant Naima Omari, 19, with her daughter Nursery Juma, on how to use a bed net

The first hours and days after childbirth are the most vulnerable period for both mothers and newborns. Quality postnatal care can reduce these risks and set the foundation for lifelong development and well-being. This course will introduce learners to the unique components of this critical window of opportunity, the evidence-based services and support care recommended during this time period, and key postnatal care programming and policy implications.



By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Define the postnatal period
  • Review the significance of this time,
  • Examine the specific vulnerabilities mothers and newborns face in the postnatal window
  • Describe the status of postnatal care coverage globally, major gaps and inequities that exist, and some of the global initiatives aimed at improving outcomes worldwide
  • Identify the optimal timing, number, and content of postnatal care contacts
  • Describe facility- and community- based postnatal care services
  • Define quality of care and list the factors that promote quality
  • Name key postnatal care indicators and common measurement tools


The following individuals are greatly appreciated for their invaluable support and expertise in developing this course:

  • Jeniece Alvey
  • Neelam Bhardwaj
  • Tedbabe Degefie Hailegebriel
  • Kathleen Hill
  • Stephen Hodgins
  • Lily Kak
  • Romilla Karnati
  • Ravinder Kaur
  • Neena Khadka
  • Smita Kumar
  • Amy Lee
  • Ornella Lincetto
  • Corinne Mazzeo
  • Rajesh Mehta
  • Hanimi Reddy Modugu
  • Susan Niermeyer
  • Steve Wall
  • Nabila Zaka

Special thanks to Barbara Deller (ACCESS) who authored the previous edition of this course "Postpartum Care" (published November 18, 2006).



  • 2 hours


  • Thursday, February 21, 2019

Course Authors: 

  • Erin Pfeiffer, MCSP consultant

Course Managers: 

  • Lisa Mwaikambo, CCP

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