Caring hands

A small but growing amount of evidence suggests that newborns also do not always receive respectful, evidence-based care, which could have lasting implications on their health, and discourage their families from seeking subsequent care. This is especially important for small and sick newborns, who are at the highest risk of morbidity and mortality. Newborns’ experiences with caregivers can have significant and lasting impact— newborn babies feel pain and discomfort, and can experience emotional distress, particularly when separated from their families in the first hours of life. Good early care, including attachment and breastfeeding, has a lasting positive impact on the health and well-being of newborns throughout their lives. More research is needed to determine how widespread these issues are, how to better define mistreatment of newborns, and how to provide better care for all families as well as support to health care providers.

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