Newborns who are born too early, too small, or who become sick in the first few weeks of life are extremely vulnerable, and require special attention and care. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death in children under five years of age, accounting for approximately one million deaths per year. It is estimated that three-quarters of these deaths can be prevented with existing, cost-effective interventions 1. Every woman, family, and community deserve to experience the best outcomes on the day of birth. To progress towards goals set in the SDGs, women, and families – particularly those living in underserved or marginalized communities – must be able to access affordable, client-centered care. To reduce poor outcomes for small and sick newborns and prevent unnecessary neonatal deaths, it is equally important that the quality of care along the continuum (ensuring the right maternal and newborn health interventions happen at the right time and location), is improved for both women and newborns.

This page includes recent research on kangaroo mother care (KMC), recent research on antenatal corticosteroids (ACS), various trials that assessed the efficacy of ACS, and progress reports related to the Every Newborn Action Plan.


This page includes a select set of global recommendations and guidance, including frameworks, roadmaps, and thematic briefs related to the care of small and sick newborns.

Share your evidence, resources, stories, and ideas! AlignMNH is still building and learning. Let us know if you have an item to feature on our country experiences page.

This page includes reports, guidelines, and toolkits related to kangaroo mother care (KMC), preterm birth, antenatal corticosteroids (ACS), and care for small and sick newborns.

This page includes resources related to breastfeeding, particularly the role nurses and midwives play in supporting women.

This page includes information and links for additional partners, forums, or resources for continued debate, discussion, and learning about small and sick newborns. It includes blog posts, communities of practice, and commentaries.


1 World Health Organization 2020 Standards for Improving the Quality of Care for Small and Sick Newborns during the first 28 days of life