Newborn Care and Safety: The Black Box of Obstetric Practices and Residency Training

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Certain causes of newborn mortality such as sudden unexpected infant death, which includes sleep-related infant death and sudden unexplained infant death syndrome, are potentially preventable. Obstetricians are uniquely positioned to counsel new parents about safe practices regarding newborn sleep, feeding, and transportation. Patients often do not develop a relationship with their pediatricians until the neonate has been discharged, and the newborn period is a time of particular vulnerability. Newborn safety should be routinely taught in obstetric curricula, and the American College/Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) should partner to disseminate updated literature and guidelines to health care providers regarding newborn safety. Current guidelines from the Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Syndrome are summarized in this article.

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