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CARE/URC/CHS Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling: A Community-Focused Approach

The Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling Trainer’s Guide is part of a training package to train low literacy, community-level infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counsellors to help mothers, fathers and other caregivers optimally feed their infants and young children. The guide is intended to equip trainers with basic counselling skills and technical knowledge of key practices and messages related to breastfeeding, infant and young child complementary feeding, and feeding of the sick child. Basic counseling skills include: listening and learning, building the mother’s/caregiver’s confidence, providing support and practical help, and negotiating. Counsellors are trained how to assess, analyze and act. The key practices are illustrated on an integrated set of CFA Counselling Cards, and described in a key message booklet that accompanies the CFA Trainers Guide.

The newly developed Community IYCF Counselling Package by United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) New York/Nutrition Policy Practice (NPP) and the Center for Human Services, the not-for-profit affiliate of University Research Co., LLC (URC/CHS) is based largely off this set of documents and available in electronic format.

Facilitator’s training guide: How to help families cope with postpartum depression

This training guide will provide anyone with the basic information and tools they need to conduct a one-day training session on how to provide postpartum emotional support to mothers and family members. This training and information is important for anyone who comes into regular contact with mothers. This guide has been purposefully kept brief so as not to be overwhelming.

The goals of the guide are to: 1) Provide an introduction to postpartum depression (PPD); 2) Teach concerned, caring individuals how to help support mothers struggling with postpartum depression during one-on-one conversations or in a support group setting; 3) Offer suggestions on how family members can offer their support to a mother.

Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices – Collecting and Using Data: A Step-by-Step Guide

Recent World Health Organization (WHO) work identifies appropriate indicators of optimal IYCF behaviors but until now, there has been little specific guidance about how to collect and use these data, especially at the field level where implementing agency staff are best situated to make changes to programs. The Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices Collecting and Using Data: A Step by Step Guide provides assistance and additional information on how to adapt the WHO operational guidance for use with smaller-scale surveys where data are obtained from mothers or primary caregivers of living children 0-23 months of age. Overall, the Guide provides assistance with the selection of indicators for a small-scale survey, choice of sampling strategy, entering and cleaning IYCF data, and analyzing the data and reporting the results.

Through use of the guide, staff will be better able to:
  • Assess trends in infant and young child feeding practices
  • Target populations at risk
  • Make decisions about resource allocation
  • Monitor and evaluate progress toward achieving goals, and
  • Determine the impact of programs

Mother-to-Mother Support Group (MtMSG) Methodology        

The instructional planning and training package MtMSG Instructional Training Package was developed and piloted under the CARE Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) Initiative. The package builds on experiences and the past work of several agencies and many individuals. Parts of the package are adapted from approaches developed by La Leche League International and The LINKAGES Project. The instructional package builds upon materials from the training curriculum “Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling: A Community-Focused Approach,” developed in collaboration with URC/CHS for use with lower-literacy audiences. The training package provides details for daily activities and the accompanying handouts for the 4.5 day course. The training content addresses the basics of infant and young child feeding through activities that are organized to move women through the basic steps of behaviour change: awareness, information, intention, and trying new behaviours; maintenance of new behaviours; and advocacy. The training activities cover listening and facilitation skills, group dynamics and a review of technical content that includes the pattern of breastfeeding, management of breastfeeding difficulties, practical help, and complementary feeding practices using local, available, appropriate and affordable foods. Participants receive instructions on designing and developing activities, support plans and a time frame for the training of support group facilitators and the formation of Mother-to-Mother Support Groups post-training. In addition, there is an activity that helps newly trained facilitators develop action plans to train facilitators and to form and support mother-to-mother support groups in their local community settings.

Mother to Mother Support Groups and Counseling in Nicaragua

Successes and lessons learned from implementing the key activities of Mother-to-mother Support Groups (MtMSGs) and counseling in Nicaragua were written up into English-Spanish documents and disseminated to key stakeholders during a dissemination event that took place in Matagalpa, Nicaragua in July 2012.

Maternal Anemia

Window conducted a literature review on the impact of anemia on maternal and child health to inform programming that addresses micronutrient deficiencies. A matrix was compiled with peer-reviewed Maternal anemia articles with topics on the relationship between anemia and child care practices, productivity, productivity, low birth weight, and compliance to supplements.

Coming soon: Qualitative Research Toolkit for IYCF and rMN

Links to other resources

CARE’s Child Health and Nutrition wiki pages

The Communication Initiative Network

Alive and Thrive’s Case Study videos on Research to Action: Designing communication on child feeding in Bangladesh

Links to other organizations

CORE Group
The Core Group is an assembly of health professionals from non-governmental organizations that share knowledge and ideas about best practices for child survival.

Infant and Young Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) CORE Group
The Infant and Young Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group is an inter-agency collaboration of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations concerned with the protection and support of safe and appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies.

Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) project
The Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) project is the United States Agency for International Development’s flagship project on infant and young child feeding and nutrition.

1,000 Days
1,000 Days is an advocacy hub that champions new investment and partnerships to improve nutrition during the critical 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s 2nd birthday as a way to achieve long-term progress in global health and development.

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