Mother Support Group (MSG) is a supportive group formed right at the community level that provides sustenance towards pregnant & lactating mothers, children and adolescents by safeguarding early initiation of breast feeding (EIBF), exclusive breast feeding (EBF), complementary feeding (CF) & adequate nutrition for mothers. The members of MSG consists of
1. Community group / Community Support Group
2. Lactating mother
3. Mothers who successfully breastfed their child
4. Mother in law/ grandmother/sister in law/ aunty
5. Local female leader/ Wife of local leader
6. Adolescent girl
7. Government primary health worker
To advocate for breastfeeding, educate families about breastfeeding, and provide optimal clinical management of breastfeeding, these people must also be educated about and skilled in breastfeeding preventive maintenance, diagnosis, and treatment.
Often the doctors prescribe artificial feeding for the neonates and infants and mothers also follow them blindly. This is because the mother and the other members of the family are not aware about optimal breastfeeding and infant & young child feeding. Moreover, the mass people are influenced by the subtle and tricky promotion of commercial baby foods. To overcome this Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation with the support of Ministry of Health and Family welfare had conducted two-day training on ‘Improving maternal and child nutrition through forming mother support group’ for community people of the selected community clinics (CC) of all the districts of Bangladesh.
The objectives of forming Mother Support Group (MSG) was;
- To increase knowledge and skills and specially solving problems in Breastfeeding and complementary feeding; risk of NOT breastfeeding and the dangers of artificial feeding including commercially processed baby food through forming Mother Support Group (MSG) utilizing GOB’s CC in 16 randomly selected Upazilas.
- Support the mother who fail to thrive Early Initiation of Breastfeeding (EIB) among the low-birth weight babies (LBWs) and other newborn
- Assist the mothers failing to thrive for exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in infants for 6 months
- To identify the gaps of knowledge and skills on breastfeeding, complementary feeding and maternal nutrition. Especially ensure optimum nutrition for pregnant and lactating mother.
- To increase knowledge and skills on the importance of appropriate, adequate, timely introduction of home prepared complementary feeding.
- Have a good understanding on nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating mothers to improve nutritional status and prevent LBW as well as knowledge on optimal breastfeeding.
- To provide practical help to mothers to breastfeed and to build mothers’ confidence in her ability to successfully breastfeed her child.
- To provide optimum support about problems occurs during lactation period considering mother and child.
- Create awareness on practising healthy cooking and eating habits.
- To create awareness about Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) component and monitor the maintenance simultaneously.
Recently BBF has established MSG in 8 divisions of Bangladesh to revitalize the MSG programs at upazila levels by the divisional officers of BBF, supervised by BBF program manager and research officer under the direction by director BBF. The formation of MSG is in a chained increasing pattern that is intended to bring the whole community under the safety net ensuring adequate nutrition for the maternal and child health development considering 1000 days window opportunity.