JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Kyrgyz Republic Mother Support Groups: Three-Day Training of Facilitators – Trainers Facilitator Guide


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 prepares health care providers to facilitate mother support groups in hospitals, family doctors groups, and Feldsher-Obstetrical Ambulatory Points 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. JSI/SPRING Project. 2017.

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