NICE has published draft updated guidance on the care of mothers and babies in the period from birth up to 8 weeks after delivery.
The new draft guideline replaces the recommendations from NICE’s existing guidance on postnatal care, originally published in 2006, and aims to improve consistency of care across the country. The recommendations are based on evidence collected before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The update offers practical advice on a range of areas including:
- post-birth assessment of mother and baby to the transfer of care to home
- recommendations to promote productive feeding and emotional attachment.
New recommendations suggest that the mother’s bladder function and a successful feeding (regardless of method) are among the health checks considered before discharging mother and baby home. In addition, a period of 12 to 36 hours should elapse before the first postnatal visit to allow mother and baby to adjust to the home environment.
Healthcare professionals should also ensure that mothers are provided with clear information on their postnatal care in all situations. Involving the mother in discussions around her birthing and recovery experience allows the care plan to be tailored to her preferences and needs.
The draft guidance is out for public consultation until 27 November 2020.