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Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition

MCSP continues to explore new strategies for improving the understanding of return to fecundity, increasing timely uptake of modern family planning methods after childbirth, and promoting optimal maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) practices.

In the Mara and Kagera regions of Tanzania, for example, MCSP is re-envisioning the way postpartum family planning (PPFP) and MIYCN information is communicated. By identifying socio-cultural cues to birth spacing or positive deviant nutritional behaviors, simplifying messages, and using innovative social and behavior change communication approaches, we are catalyzing behavior change. The program is refining, testing and integrating messages on return to fecundity, PPFP, and MIYCN through a multi-pronged approach that utilizes formative research as a basis to gain an understanding of barriers and motivators for optimal PPFP and MIYCN practices.

By examining the use of services and identifying the most appropriate channels and approaches for communicating culturally appropriate information, we are employing multiple channels of communication at the household, community and health facility levels. This includes the use of an e-Health platform, involvement of health workers at the dispensary level, and engaging breastfeeding support groups, local champions, and civil society organizations. Ultimately, we aim to advance the understanding of factors affecting timeliness and knowledge of postpartum contraceptive uptake and optimal MIYCN practices, recognizing that health systems considerations such as commodity availability are also critical for stimulating demand.

MCSP continues to co-chair the MIYCN-FP Working Group (along with the SPRING program), which includes hosting meetings, participating in sub-committees, and updating and promoting the MIYCN-FP toolkit.

Mother and baby outside in Kenya

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