This brief focuses on the following points:
- In developing countries, over 60% of maternal deaths occur in the postpartum period, and about 70% of women receive no postpartum care.
- Effective care during the first week postpartum—especially during the first 24 hours—is essential to maximize survival of mothers and newborns.
- Women, their families and communities should be able to recognize maternal danger signs and have a plan for seeking appropriate care.
- Programs should manage the care of mother and newborn together, as the health and well-being of both are interdependent.