Barriers and Facilitators of Forming Mother-to-Mother Support Groups as they relate to Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in Apurimac, Peru Open Access

Gilbert, Adrienne Renee (2012)

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Barriers and Facilitators of Forming Mother-to-Mother Support Groups as they relate to Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in Apurimac, Peru CARE's Window of Opportunity project aims to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF)and related maternal nutrition (rMN) practices in two regions of Peru. This study conducted formative research in Apurimac, Peru, one region of the Window program. The aim of the study was to determine the barriers and facilitators to implementing mother-to-mother support groups (MtMSGs) in this region. Research indicates that social support groups are successful at improving individual nutritional status among children. Based on this evidence, MtMSGs will aim to increase exclusive breastfeeding, improve timely and appropriate complementary feeding and promote optimal rMN practices. In-depth interviews were conducted to guide the development of the focus group discussions. Two participatory learning activities were also conducted to confirm the results of the qualitative data collection. The study was carried out in four rural communities and four peri-urban communities in the region of Apurimac four groups: women of reproductive age with children under two, community health workers, government health care staff and CARE Staff. Data were analyzed a thematic analysis approach. Findings show that the Peruvian government has already organized many support groups, through social service programs. Primary barriers to participation in social support groups are lack of time, financial concerns, not being invited by group leadership and negative community perceptions. The primary facilitators of participation in social support groups are material incentives, social diversion or relaxation, a fear of being penalized for not paying dues and a desire to learn new things. Based upon these results, suggestions for the development of MtMSGs are made for CARE's program staff. CARE's collaboration with pre-existing social service programs that have long-standing reputation in the community will be paramount to MtMSG success. To avoid duplicating efforts to conduct educational activities on IYCF practices, ongoing partnerships in these communities have shown to strengthen activity impact, as observed throughout this study. Collaboration between partnerships could help to engage women and draw upon the collective knowledge of community-based organizations, ultimately strengthening implementation of MtMSGs.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Chapter One, Introduction, page 6.

Chapter Two, Literature Review, page 12.

Chapter Three, Methods, page 43.

Chapter Four, Results page 63.

Chapter Five, Discussion page 103.

Acknowledgements, page 122.

Appendices, page 123.

References, page 152.

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