Mother Support Groups: Three-Day Training of Facilitators/Trainers - Facilitator Guide

Training of Facilitators/Trainers: Mother Support Groups

A group of six Kyrgyz women sits in a line of chairs. They are listening, but bored.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the Kyrgyz Republic engages hospitals to ensure an environment that supports women to initiate breastfeeding in a timely manner and promotes exclusive breastfeeding up to six months. Hospitals undergo a process of planning, training, and policy changes that lead to achieving 11 key criteria. When they meet the 11 criteria, the hospital is certified “Baby Friendly.” Insufficient attention has been paid to the BFHI criterion involving support groups for mothers.

The Tenth Step (or criteria) of the BFHI is: Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.


This module is intended to prepare health care providers to facilitate mother support groups in hospitals, Family Doctors Groups, and Feldsher-Obstetrical Ambulatory Points (FAP) in order to obtain BFHI status. Mother support groups provide peer counseling within a group setting. A non-formal and experiential learning approach allows women to examine their values and attitudes, discover assumptions and patterns of behavior, ask questions, and learn new ways of thinking about the feeding and care of young children. The aim of the support groups is to empower women to make better decisions and build their self-confidence through dialogue that encourages them to identify and solve their own problems.

For most training participants, the module on Mother Support Groups will be a refresher on breastfeeding and complementary feeding basics. For others, the breastfeeding and complementary feeding content presented in this module will be adequate to prepare them to facilitate a mother support group.

To read the full training guide, please download it above.