Newborns receiving essential newborn care

Percent of newborns who received all four elements of essential newborn care: 

  • immediate and thorough drying, 
  • immediate skin-to-skin contact,
  • delayed cord clamping, and 
  • initiation of breastfeeding in the first hour

Number of newborns who received all four elements of essential newborn care.

Total number of live births in the health facility.

Perinatal information system


This indicator assesses the provision of a core component of recommended newborn thermal care at delivery, and can be used as a measure for the quality of and adherence to service protocols (Gage et al., 2005). Drying the newborn immediately after birth, skin-to-skin contact with the mother, wrapping the infant with a dry cloth or towel, keeping the newborn’s head covered, and delayed bathing, ideally for 24 hours, are essential care practices for keeping the newborn warm. Early skin-to-skin contact with the mother also promotes bonding and facilitates the initiation of breastfeeding. These strategies can be used effectively at home deliveries, as well as at facilities, and can improve newborn health and survival. Since the highest period of risk for neonatal deaths is within the first 24 hours, this indicator measures the delivery of several key thermal care practices that can improve infant health outcomes.

For the newborn record to be a reliable data source, staff must fill the record out consistently and accurately. Ideally, the recording form will specify the standards, will facilitate accurate charting, and will stimulate appropriate actions.

Safety of care, Process of Care, Neonatal care, Labor and delivery, Postnatal care, Pediatric care, Breastfeeding, Maternal health, Newborn health

World Health Organization (WHO). Consultation on Improving Measurement of the Quality of Maternal, Newborn and Child Care in Health Facilities.; 2013.

World Health Organization (WHO). 2015 Global Reference List of 100 Core Health Indicators.; 2015.

MEASURE Evaluation. FP and Reproductive Health Indicators Database — MEASURE Evaluation. 

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