This guideline aims to identify the essential core (routine) care that every woman and her baby should receive in the first 6–8 weeks after birth, based on the best evidence available. The recommendations on co‑sleeping and sudden infant death syndrome cover the first year of an infant's life.

Although for most women and babies the postnatal period is uncomplicated, care during this period needs to address any deviation from expected recovery after birth. This guideline gives advice on when additional care may be needed and these recommendations have been given a status level (indicating the degree of urgency needed in dealing with the problem (see table 1).

Table 1 Status levels




Life‑threatening or potential life‑threatening situation


Potentially serious situation, which needs appropriate action


Continue to monitor and assess

Medicine recommendations

The guideline will assume that prescribers will use a medicine's summary of product characteristics to inform decisions made with individual patients.