The Ministry of Health (MOH) trained obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) staff currently employed at the Belau National Hospital and the Belau Clinic about “First Embrace” last week.

First embrace refers to the skin-to-skin contact between mother and child immediately after a baby is born.


The two-day training, which was the fourth of the series, was conducted through the assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The training focused mainly on reviewing the birthing methods being practiced by the OBGYN Medical Staff; understanding the importance of initial skin-to-skin contact between mother and child after birth; learning techniques that can assist with the birth of newborns who are breathing and newborns who are not breathing; and promoting breastfeeding among mothers.

Participants were able to practice the methods in scenarios and practice sessions.

The training also taught participants how to prevent hypothermia in newborns, the proper technique for cutting the umbilical cord, drying newborns after birth, and identifying “feeding cues” in order to recognize when a newborn is ready to breastfeed.

Instructors for the First Embrace Training were MOH Pediatrician Dr. Yuriko Bechesrrak, WHO Technical Officer for Information and Accountability Priya Mannava, WHO Technical Officer for Maternal Newborn and Child Health Dr.

Outhevanh Kounnavongsa, and MOH Nurse Carol Ngiraswei. The training was held from February 12-13, 2018 at the Belau National Hospital. [/restrict]