A new study found that postpartum and newborn care guidelines issued by the CDC during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic were more likely to be followed routinely if they were supported by written hospital policies. Recommendations implemented most often included that infant care (e.g., diapering, bathing and feeding) be performed by a healthy family or staff member when the mother was ill and that support be provided to women wanting to breast-feed to express milk/colostrum until close mother-baby contact could be resumed. The two practices implemented least often were temporary separation of healthy newborns from ill mothers and testing of newborns for influenza if signs of infection were observed. The findings, reported in Nursing for Women's Health, are based on survey responses of nearly 1,200 AWHONN members who worked in inpatient settings during the pandemic. They provide lessons to inform future clinical practice during public health emergencies, say the authors. The study was conducted through a partnership of AWHONN, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Read the abstract.
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