Family Participation in the Care of the Inpatient Newborn: A Technical Brief

On World Prematurity Day, November 17th, Every Preemie—SCALE joined the global community in highlighting the importance of “Working together: partnering with families in the care of small and sick newborns”, contributed to by PTBi-CA Co-Principal Investigator, Linda Franck.

Each year 1 in 10 babies around the world are born preterm, or before 37 weeks gestation, and many others have life-threatening conditions that require hospitalization. Evidence shows that families and health care professionals working together in the care of these small and sick newborns leads to better health and developmental outcomes, as well as better experience of care.

To support implementation of and advocacy for family engagement during inpatient newborn care, Every Preemie—SCALE is pleased to introduce the latest in its Do No Harm Technical Brief Series, Family Participation in the Care of the Inpatient Newborn. This brief highlights the importance of family involvement during inpatient care; how the lack of family engagement can cause unintentional harm; current evidence-based best practices; existing WHO recommendations; system requirements; and actions that can be taken by policy makers, program planners and implementers, facility leaders, health care providers, and families to improve family engagement and related health outcomes.

The Do No Harm series was launched in 2017 and highlights the safe and effective use of specific inpatient newborn care interventions in low-resource settings. Briefs are authored and reviewed by global experts and intended to improve quality of inpatient newborn care for small and sick newborns. Other briefs in the series cover topics including: infection prevention; thermal protection; human milk feeding; oxygen use; and retinopathy of prematurity. French translations are available for all briefs, and Spanish translations are available for briefs on family participation and thermal protection.

With the release of this newest brief, Every Preemie—SCALE and partners emphasize the importance of families and health providers working together to care for inpatient newborns, and acknowledge the invaluable role of all stakeholders in the healthy development of these vulnerable babies.

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Every Preemie—SCALE is a USAID-funded project implemented by Project Concern International, the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives. The project is designed to catalyze commitment and action for the management of preterm birth and low birthweight in USAID’s 25 priority maternal and child health countries, predominantly in Africa and Asia.