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 counselling skills include: listening and learning, building the mother’s/caregiver’s confidence, providing support and practical help, and negotiating by applying the “assess, analyze and act” steps.
The key practices are illustrated on an integrated set of 18 counselling cards, and described in a Message Booklet that accompanies the Trainer’s Guide. Participants become familiar with the basic content of the key practices and messages through the use of the counselling cards. Handson practice is the focus of the IYCF Counsellors training, with emphasis on counselling skills and the effective use of the counselling cards and other visual materials. IYCF Counsellors may be TBAs, Community Health Workers (CHWs) or project staff with more advanced IYCF training who act as points of referral for the low-literate, less experienced IYCF Counsellors and together form a community network of IYCF support.
The Infant and Young Child Counselling Trainer’s Guide and training aids were developed for use in low resource settings, without dependence on the use of slides or other media projection, flip charts or writing materials.