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Newborn care on the postnatal ward: a dual opportunity for specialty training and newborn health
  1. Prudence Jarrett1,2
  1. 1 Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Prudence Jarrett, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London WC1E 7HT, UK; prudence.jarrett{at}

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With the majority of births occurring in hospital1 and the diminishing availability of community-based postnatal care,2 the postnatal ward offers a critical window for newborn health promotion. Responsibility for feeding advice and support with newborn care in the postnatal period lies partially with junior paediatricians who provide care for well, term neonates in hospital with substantial autonomy. Such ‘service provision’ may not be perceived as educationally valuable by trainees, but I argue that it is both an overlooked training opportunity and a vital moment for health promotion that could positively impact on newborn feeding, parental care practices and preventable attendances to the emergency department in the newborn period.

In the UK only 30% of babies are exclusively breast fed at 6–8 weeks of age,3 representing one of the worst rates of continuation of breast feeding among comparatively economically developed countries.4 In …

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  • Contributors PJ conceived the idea and wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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