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Approximately 145 000 babies are born in Ontario each year. With the trend towards earlier discharges and in the context of rising health-care costs and constraints on resources, there is concern that the quality of postnatal care during this critical transition period may be compromised.

Several factors may affect the provision of high quality care for postnatal mothers and newborns in Ontario: unclear standards resulting in inconsistent care practices across the province; lack of effective coordination for postnatal care; insufficient time for comprehensive postnatal education, care, and follow-up; lack of clarity around the roles and responsibilities of institutions and providers; and lack of standards or mechanisms to ensure that right, timely, and consistent information is provided to families. The provision of high quality postnatal care for mothers and babies in Ontario requires a unified understanding of what the standards are and an effective coordination of care model or method that ensures quality postnatal care.


The primary goals and objectives of the Standards of Postnatal Care are to:

  1. Articulate the standards of postnatal care for mothers and babies in the immediate postpartum
  2. Identify models, methods, or systems for how the standards could be delivered to improve coordination of care
  3. Develop an evaluation framework to monitor the impact of the standards
  4. Identify and/or develop patient education tools where necessary

Achieving these objectives is also expected to benefit multiple groups, including:

  • Mothers, babies, and families: With the development of patient education materials and the articulation of existing standards, we anticipate that mothers and their families will know what postnatal care to expect from their health care providers.
  • Health care providers: We hope providers will have a clear understanding of their role in providing or coordinating postnatal care for mothers and babies.
  • Health care system/ hospitals/ birthing centres: Health care administrators will be able to use this resource to standardize the provision of postnatal care and evaluate its impact.


To support the implementation of the Standards of Postnatal Care, the Standards of Postnatal Care for Mothers and Newborns in Ontario (Part II): A focus on implementation and evaluation was also developed. This report provides an overview of implementation recommendations as to how the delivery of postnatal care can be enhanced, and also includes a suggested evaluation framework that identifies the standards that should be prioritized for monitoring across the province. PCMCH will continue to work with patients and families, health care providers, the regional maternal-child networks, and other partners to support the uptake and implementation of the standards.

Join the PCMCH Maternal and Newborn Community of Practice hosted by HQO’s Quorum to collaborate with and learn from your colleagues across the province.

Please see the ‘Resources’ below to view and download the standards and the supporting documents.


Originally presented June 11th, 2018.  Please click here to view the webinar recording.

Webinar Objectives: 

  • Provide an overview of the Standards of Postnatal Care for mothers and babies in the immediate postpartum
  • Review recommended strategies and models for how the standards can be delivered to achieve a more coordinated system
  • Discuss system evaluation considerations
  • Review the developed patient education tools

Presented by: Dr. Ethel Ying, (Paediatrician/ Neonatologist, St. Michael’s Hospital; Standards of Postnatal Care Expert Panel Co-Chair) and Shannon Mantha (Executive Director, Community Services, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit; Standards of Postnatal Care Expert Panel Co-Chair)

Audience: Clinicians, nurses, public health professionals, educators, managers and administrative leaders involved in maternal and newborn care.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Standards of Postnatal Care and/or the accompanying resources, please contact


Standards of Postnatal Care – Recommendations Report

Standards of Postnatal Care – Implementation and Evaluation Report

Standards of Postnatal Care – Current State Survey Report