The numbers are staggering. Around the world, one million babies die every year – on the very first day of their life. The reasons are many – premature birth, low birth weight and lack of skilled help during labor and delivery are just a few of the causes of death. But the even greater tragedy is that many of these deaths are preventable.

The First Day of a Baby's Life is Critical

Around the world, health care isn’t readily available to pregnant women. In low-income countries, premature babies without food or access to incubators are dying. Save the Children supports Kangaroo Mother Care – where skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding offer children warmth and nutrition during the most critical stage – the first 24 hours. Our experts agree that this simple, low-cost intervention can prevent the death of up to half a million newborns each year.

Our Saving Newborn Lives program, supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a project that aims to reduce newborn deaths and improve newborn survival in high-mortality countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Health workers present when the baby is born can help the mother establish exclusive breastfeeding, and can support her to keep the baby warm through skin-to-skin contact – a technique known as Kangaroo Mother Care.

Ways to Help

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Newborn Health Resources

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