Postnatal care refers to the ongoing health care provision of both the mother and her offspring and contributes to the timely identification and effective management of complications in the postpartum period, to secure maternal and infant short- and long-term well-being. The aim of this study was to review and compare the most recently published influential guidelines on postnatal care practices. A comparative review of guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the World Health Organization, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding postnatal care was conducted. There is a consensus among the reviewed guidelines regarding the importance of health care provision in the postpartum period, including home visits and midwifery services, the use of telemedicine for the facilitation of communication with the patient, and the appropriate preparation for discharge, as well as the discharge criteria. All medical societies also agree on the clinical aspects that should be evaluated at each postnatal visit, although discrepancies exist with regard to the contact schedule. In addition, there is consistency regarding the management of postpartum infections, perineal pain, fecal and urinary incontinence, and physical activity guidance. Mental health issues should be addressed at each postnatal visit, according to all guidelines, but there is disagreement regarding routine screening for depression. As for the optimal interpregnancy interval, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends avoiding pregnancy for at least 6 months postpartum, whereas the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends a 12-month interval. There is no common pathway regarding the recommended contraceptive methods, the nutrition guidance, and the postpartum management of pregnancy complications. Of note, the World Health Organization alone provides recommendations concerning the prevention of specific infections during the postnatal period. Postnatal care remains a relatively underserved aspect of maternity care, although the puerperium is a critical period for the establishment of motherhood and the transition to primary care. Thus, the development of consistent international protocols for the optimal care and support of women during the postnatal period seems of insurmountable importance to safely guide clinical practice and subsequently reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity.

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