In Kenya, although 45 percent of maternal deaths occur within the first 24 hours after childbirth and 65 percent of maternal deaths occur during the first week postpartum, health-care providers continue to advise on a first check-up six weeks after childbirth. The early postpartum period is also critical to newborn survival, with 50–70 percent of life-threatening newborn illnesses occurring in the first week. Yet most strategies to reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality have focused on pregnancy and birth. In addition to the heavy workload of providers who do not assess the mother post-delivery when she may bring her infant for immunization, lack of knowledge, poverty, cultural beliefs and practices perpetuate the problem. The only register that exists for mothers post-delivery is for family planning, thus perpetuating the lack of emphasis on the early postpartum period with no standardized register to record care given. To address this gap in service delivery, the Population Council defined the minimal services a mother and baby should receive from a skilled attendant after birth. As stated in this brief, the development of a standardized postpartum register is one step toward advocating for providing early postpartum care among health-service providers.
"Repositioning post partum care in Kenya," Safe Motherhood Policy Alert. Nairobi: Population Council, 2005.