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Table 1 Options for newborn thermal protection in resource-limited settings

From: Market mechanisms for newborn health in Nepal

Method Eligibility Advantages Risks or disadvantages Availability
Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) by mother or other caregiver Stable infants Mother can closely monitor, promotes bonding Not for life-threatening conditions Community and institutional
Radiant warmer or water mattress At-risk infants Allows observation of baby
Allows procedures to be performed
Hyperthermia, dehydration
Expensive to buy, requires electricity
Institutional only
Incubator At-risk infants, including high-risk, low-birth-weight infants Maintains constant temperature and humidity
Easy provision of oxygen
Allows observation of (naked) infant
Hyperthermia, dehydration
Expensive to buy, maintain, clean; requires electricity
Separation of mother and child
Institutional only
Warm room Stable infants No newborn equipment necessary Hypothermia
Uncomfortable for caregivers
Community and institutional
Low-cost warming device (together with SSC) At-risk and stable infants Mother can closely monitor, other caregiver can provide SSC Not appropriate for life-threatening conditions; more expensive than SSC Potentially community and institutional