Newborn Care in the Context of a Developing Country

In my first and second articles in this series, I mentioned that in Thailand, they have an expression that translates in English to “same same but different.” As is true with pregnancy and labor and delivery, so it is true of caring for the newborn, as well. There are unique aspects to newborn care in a low-resource setting and, while many elements of caring for a newborn baby in the six weeks following birth are universal, the midwife needs to be aware of how best practices can be different according to the setting. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has created global standards, competencies, and guidelines to ensure that midwives in all countries have effective education and skills (ICM 2018). When working in developing countries where newborn mortality is high in the neonatal period, the midwife should possess advanced skills and be humble about the high-risk population in which she may find herself. Business as usual will not be adequate or even ethical in these situations.
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About Author: Vicki Penwell

Vicki Penwell, a midwife for more than 40 years, has attended births and taught midwives on four continents and created educational opportunities for thousands of maternity care providers, in both pre-service and in-service settings. She has a Master’s degree in Midwifery and another Master’s degree in Intercultural Studies, and is working on a doctorate in Leadership. One unique and practical post-graduate program Vicki created with her team is the Diploma in International Midwifery & Maternal/Child Health. Splitting her time living between the Philippines and the USA, Vicki teaches regularly in seminars and workshops around the world.

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