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Resources for Mothers

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In order to provide more comprehensive and meaningful search results on our site, several reports are available for viewing and download directly from this web site. Kindly visit the main sites of the author organisations for more complete and updated information. We acknowledge our gratitude to the many people and sources whose work has been drawn freely upon. We thank them all.


Initiation of Breastfeeding by Breast Crawl Breast Crawl

Initiation of Breastfeeding by Breast Crawl

visit for video and complete dossier.

UNICEF, WHO and WABA along with the scientific community strongly recommend initiating breastfeeding within an hour of birth.
Evidence shows that early initiation can prevent 22% of all deaths among babies below one month in developing countries.

Every newborn, when placed on the mother’s abdomen, soon after birth, has the ability to find its mother’s breast all on its own and to decide when to take the first breastfeed. This is called the ‘Breast Crawl’.

This method is evidence based and has been field tested by us. A documentary on the ‘Breast Crawl’ has been prepared for training, advocacy and for wider dissemination. The video has created a very high level of sensitivity among all the levels of functionaries and was officially endorsed by senior policy makers as the right approach for initiating breastfeeding. This dossier provides the background and a scientific overview to the documentary.

Initiation of breastfeeding by the Breast Crawl is a critical component of the IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding) initiative for the state of Maharashtra, India. IYCF deals with nutrition of children from birth to 3 years of age, and also takes into consideration the nutrition of pregnant and lactating mothers. Two critical components of IYCF are breastfeeding and complementary feeding. Improved IYCF practices promote optimal growth and development, prevent malnutrition and improve child survival. With 40% of the children in the state undernourished, this initiative becomes extremely critical.

UNICEF has facilitated partnerships with all stakeholders including the State Government, State Nutrition Mission, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Public Health Department, BPNI (Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India), NGOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and several academic institutions, for this major initiative. These partnerships are aimed at creating a revolution in the state promoting IYCF practices.

We are sure that this documentary and dossier will greatly help similar initiatives worldwide. It is our strong desire that this information helps every mother and baby to experience the miracle of Breast Crawl. If we all could achieve early initiation of breastfeeding, we will be able to prevent 22% of all deaths among babies below 1 month.

This can be achieved by training all health care providers to initiate breastfeeding, by Breast Crawl, to give infants the best start in life.

visit for video and complete dossier.


Baby Massage DVDBaby Massage DVD
Hands to Hearts International’s Baby Massage DVD teaches basic baby massage strokes that not only make your little one happy but build loving bonds crucial to their development. When you purchase our Baby Massage DVD for yourself, or as a gift, you’re contributing to HHI’s work with orphaned and vulnerable children around India.

Benefits of Baby Massage:
* Reduces baby’s fussiness and crying
* Improves baby’s sleep
* Decreases constipation and colic
* Increases bond between parent and child
* Relaxing for baby and parent

Along with your DVD you’ll receive an instructional poster with pictures to guide your baby massage.
Cost: $25 USD, shipping included for a limited time. Order here.

* Filmed in India.  The DVD is available in English, with subtitles in the following 18 languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Danish, Finnish, French, Hindi, Japanese, Oriya, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Learn more about Hands to Hearts International at


Why is breastfeeding so important?Why Is Breastfeeding So Important?
Why Is Breastfeeding So Important?Download .pdf 17.5 mb.

Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for your baby and provides many health benefits for both mother and baby.
- Initiating breast feeding within the first hour and exclusive breastfeeding can prevent under two mortality.
- Breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding
- Colostrum - Gift of a protective cover from the mother
- We believe all mothers know how to feed their child. But do they?
- Myths and facts about breast milk
- Complimentary feeding
- Role of media in promoting proper young child feeding: Media should focus on and promote measures that are required to be taken urgently to ensure the survival of children


Acceptable medical reasons for use of breast-milk substitutes

Acceptable medical reasons for use of breast-milk substitutes

Authors: WHO
Number of pages: 6
Publication date: 2009


Almost all mothers can breastfeed successfully -- initiating breastfeeding within the first hour of life, breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and continuing breastfeeding (along with giving appropriate complementary foods) up to two years of age or beyond. Positive effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and mothers are observed in all settings.

Nevertheless, a small number of health conditions of the infant or the mother may justify recommending that she does not breastfeed temporarily or permanently. Whenever stopping breastfeeding is considered, the benefits of breastfeeding should be weighed against the risks posed by the presence of the specific conditions listed.

This list of acceptable medical reasons for temporary or long-term use of breast-milk substitutes is made available as an independent tool for health professionals working with mothers and newborn infants, as part of the Baby-friendly Hospitals Initiative.

English [pdf 209kb] | Portuguese [pdf 73kb]  | Spanish [pdf 115kb]


Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done

Diarrhoea : Why children are still dying and what can be done

14 October, 2009 - New UNICEF/WHO Report Focuses Attention on Diarrheal Disease—the Second Leading Killer of Children Under 5—and Outlines 7-point Plan to Control This Preventable and Treatable Illness

The report highlights the proven diarrheal disease prevention and treatment solutions already available today. Many children in the developing world cannot access urgent medical care for severe illnesses, making prevention methods—including improved hygiene, sanitation, safe drinking water, exclusive breastfeeding, and vaccines preventing rotavirus—critical components of diarrheal disease control. When diarrhea occurs, it can be effectively treated with simple solutions, including oral rehydration therapy/oral rehydration solution, zinc and other micronutrients, and continued feeding.

Read more

Mother-Child Protection Card

The Mother and Child Protection Card (MCP Card) has been introduced through a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

The MCP card is a tool for informing and educating the mother and family on different aspects of maternal and child care and linking maternal and childcare into a continuum of care through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The card also captures some of key services delivered to the mother & baby during Antenatal, Intranatal & Post natal care for ensuring that the minimum package of services are delivered to the beneficiary.

MCP card has already been disseminated in the year 2010-11 for implementation by the States.

The MCP card helps in timely identification, referral and management of complications during pregnancy, child birth and post natal period. The card also serves as a tool for providing complete immunization to infants and children, early and exclusive breast feeding, complementary feeding and monitoring their growth.

UNICEFMother-Child Protection Card and Guide


  • Families / Program participants
  • Anganwadi workers of ICDS 
    - Integrated Child Development Schemes
  • Nurse midwife
  • Supervisors of health and ICDS 

This guide book is to be used as a reference book by these functionaries of health and ICDS to focus on under three. The components are

  • Safe Motherhood
  • Care of the New born
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Nutrition
  • Immunisation and
  • The Importance of the Mother Child Protection Card

Mother Child Protection Card
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Mother Child Protection Card Side A
Side A click to enlarge

Mother Child Protection Card Side B
Side B click to enlarge


Download Card
Full Size

Side A  pdf formatpdf 3.2 mb
Side B
 pdf formatpdf 1.8 mb


Mother Child Protection Card
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Mother Child Protection Card
Side A click to enlarge

Mother Child Protection Card
Side B click to enlarge


Download Card
Full Size

Side A & B
pdf formatpdf 7.4 mb

Download Assamese version in pdf format
2.7 mb

Inside Pages
Download Assamese version of Inside Pages in pdf format
9.5 mb


Download Bengali version in pdf format
8.5 mb


Download Kannada version in pdf format
4.1 mb


Download Odisha version in pdf format
13.8 mb


Download Telugu version in pdf format
3 mb

A Guide For Use of the Mother-Child Protection Card

for the community and the family, Anganwadi Worker, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife & Sector Supervisors

Guide for Mother Child Protection Card
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Download Full Guide

pdf formatpdf  2 mb

Download Guide

Front Cover pdf formatpdf  176 kb
pages 1-14 pdf formatpdf  1 mb
pages 15-30 pdf formatpdf  2 mb
pages 31-43 pdf formatpdf  1.3 mb
pages 44-56 pdf formatpdf  1.7 mb
Back Cover pdf formatpdf  176 kb

Facts for LifeFacts for Life

Author: UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS, WFP and the World Bank
Publication date: April 2010
Languages: English French Spanish

The fourth edition of Facts for Life contains essential information that families and communities need to know to raise healthy children. This handbook provides practical advice on pregnancy, childbirth, childhood illnesses, child development and the care of children. This edition also features a new chapter on child protection. The book is intended for parents, families, health workers, teachers, youth groups, women’s groups, community organizations, government officials, employers, trade unions, media, and non-governmental and faith-based organizations.


Dr. R. K. Anand's Guide to Child Care: For pregnant mothers and parents of infants, young children, and teenagers

Dr. R. K. Anand's Guide to Child Care is for pregnant mothers and  parents of infants, young children, and teenagers. A definitive guide to the parent on pregnancy and childrearing from infancy to the teenage years. Authored by one of India's foremost paediatricians and an internationally renowned authority on breastfeeding, the book combines a knowledge of traditional childrearing practices with the latest medical developments in child care.

Dr. Anand's Guide to Child Care answers questions such as:
  • Is there a right age to have a baby?

  • What can I do when my baby cries?

  • Can a working mother successfully breastfeed?

  • How helpful is a joint family in bringing up children?

  • How should we handle our fussy eater?

  • Is my child ready for toilet-training?

  • Are vaccines safe?

  • When is the right age for sex education?

  • How can I raise a happy child?

  • Are drugs overprescribed for childhood illnesses?

  • How should we handle our teenager?

  • What should I do in a medical emergency?


Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism

Online Versions:  |

It's more than a book. It's a way of life. Alcoholics Anonymous-the Big Book-has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First published in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. With publication of the second edition in 1955, the third edition in 1976, and now the fourth edition in 2001, the essential recovery text has remained unchanged while personal stories have been added to reflect the growing and diverse fellowship. The long-awaited fourth edition features 24 new personal stories of recovery. Key features and benefits �the most widely used resource for millions of individuals in recovery �contains full, original text describing AA program �updated with 24 new personal stories

About the Author
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an informal meeting society for recovering alcoholics whose primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.AA suggests that alcoholics follow its program and abstain from alcohol in order to recover from alcoholism, and share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem.AA was the first twelve-step program and has been the model for similar recovery groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Al-Anon/Alateen are programs designed to provide support for relatives and friends of alcoholics. The organization was named after its primary guidebook Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as The Big Book. Although AA is not for everyone, there is growing evidence supporting the effectiveness of AA as a treatment for alcoholism.

575 pages - Alcoholics Anonymous World Services; 4 Revised edition (February 10, 2002) - English
ISBN-10: 1893007162, ISBN-13: 978-1893007161

Maharashtra, India


Diarrhoea - Guide 1
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Diarrhoea - Guide 1

4 pages - Diarrhoea Brochure 1 in pdf formatpdf 563 kb


Diarrhoea - Guide 2
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Diarrhoea - Guide 2

14 pages  - Diarrhoea Brochure 2 in pdf formatpdf 1.2 mb


Better Care During Diarrhoea
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Better Care During Diarrhoea

32 pages  - Understanding and Managing Acute Diarrhoea in Infants and Young Children in pdf formatpdf 4.1 mb


Diarrhoea - Green Guide 3
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Diarrhoea - Guide 3


Govt. of India, Central Health Education Bureau, Ministry of health and Family Welfare

May 1984

8 pages - Diarrhoea Guide in pdf formatpdf 2.5 mb


Marathi Cookbook - Iron and Vitamin C Rich Recipes - Gharchya Ghari Anaemia Tala
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Marathi Cookbook
Iron and Vitamin C Rich Recipes
Gharchya Ghari Anaemia Tala


June 2002

67 pages - Marathi Cookbook - Iron and Vitamin C Rich Recipes - Gharchya Ghari Anaemia Tala in pdf formatpdf 2.8 mb


Management of Critically Sick Child
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Management of Critically Sick Child


Directorate of Health Services Maharashtra State
Department of Paediatrics, Cama & Albless Hospital, Mumbai
Maharashtra State Health Education Bureau, Aundh, Pune

41 pages - Management of Crticially Sick Child in pdf formatpdf 9.5 mb


Maharashtra - Guide
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Maharashtra - Guide


26 pages - Maharashtra in pdf formatpdf 879 kb




Advertising Materials




Sahyogini - Animator to guide Self Help Groups

Animator to guide Self Help Groups

All NGOs, Institutes and Persons working in the Self Help Group Movement.

This book is based on the experiences and achievements of the Maharashtra Rural Credit Programme. Sahyogini (Animator) is the back bone of this programme working in the villages with the Self Help Group to Guide & Help them by providing technical support. This book is focused on the working procedure of the Self Help Group Dynamics, Formation, Structure, working procedure etc. This guide answers frequently asked questions.

41 pages - Sahyogini - Animator to guide Self Help Groups in pdf formatpdf 3 mb



Vitamin A: Frequently Asked Questions - English
Vitamin A: Frequently Asked Questions - Marathi -  Vitamin A FAQs in Marathi - pdf formatpdf 49 kb

Vitamin A Marathi brochure -  Vitamin A Marathi brochure in pdf formatpdf 470 kb

Vitamin A Marathi brochure - front
Front - download 219 kb
Vitamin A Marathi brochure - back
Back - download 274 kb


The great Vitamin A fiasco - World Nutrition - May 2010
Michael Latham

This commentary challenges the wisdom and validity of the current practice of providing to children between 6 months and 5 years, regular supplements of massive medicinal doses of vitamin A. Every year, roughly half a billion capsules are made to be distributed and to be given to around 200 million children in over 100 ‘targeted’ countries (1,2). One standard method of dosing of younger children is shown in the picture above, which appears on the cover of a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) working paper issued in 2005 (1). In most cases, this medicinal dosing is now being done in countries and areas where the vitamin A deficiency diseases xerophthalmia and blinding keratomalacia are now rare, and any clinical signs of vitamin A deficiency are now uncommon. download pdfpdf442 kb

Vitamin A saves lives. Sound science, sound policy
Keith P West Jr, Rolf DW Klemm, Alfred Sommer
Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness, impair health, and be an underlying cause of death, in young children. Therefore, responsible debate about its public health importance, and the value of prevention, should be based on reliable evidence of the extent and severity of deficiency, and on the impact of interventions. download pdfpdf 315 kb

Universal Vitamin A Supplementation Programme in India: The need for a re-look  download pdfpdf 37 kb
The National Medical Journal of India - Vol. 23, No. 5, October 2010

20 Million US Dollars on Vitamin A Procurement : Out of 32 Million US Dollars of Annual Budget 2009-2010
The Indian scientists have raised their concern on over emphasis of Vitamin A supplementation to children. The recent research communications from Prof. Michael Latham and Prof. C. Gopalan have raised this issue with scientific evidence. These excerpts from the Annual Report of Micronutrients Initiatives India an International Non Government Organization, according to which out of 32 Million US Dollar available in the Annual Budget 2009-2010, more than 20 Million US Dollars were spent on Vitamin A Procurement and Interventions. A meager sum of 2.5 Million US Dollars were spent on Iron interventions.

Anaemia is most common nutritional deficiency disorders in the country. Almost vulnerable age groups have anaemia in the range of 60-90%. The health consequences of anaemia are highly detrimental to Maternal and Child Health. The prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency is less than one percent and is limited to selected geographical pockets in the country. The Keratomalacia and Nutritional Blindness have disappeared.

It is unfortunate but true that the agencies are trying to implement interventions for prevention and control of micronutrients disorders according to their mandate rather than the magnitude and health consequences.


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Free Downloads from Hesperian

Hesperian Home > Books and Resources

Hesperian Health Guides are easy to use, medically accurate, and richly illustrated. We publish 20 titles, spanning women’s health, children, disabilities, dentistry, health education, HIV, and environmental health, and distribute many others. Buy, download, or read from this page, or view resources by language to explore materials in Spanish and over 80 other languages.


Where There Is No Doctor

The most widely-used health care manual for health workers, educators, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs around the world. Our current edition contains updated information on malaria, HIV, and more.


Where Women Have No Doctor

An essential resource for any woman or health worker who wants to improve her health and the health of her community, and for anyone to learn about problems that affect women differently from men. Topics include reproductive health, concerns of girls and older women, violence, mental health, and more.


A Community Guide to Environmental Health

This guide contains information, activities, stories, and instructions for simple technologies that help health promoters, environmental activists, and community leaders take charge of their environmental health.


Advance Chapters from the NEW Where There Is No Doctor

Topics include care for newborns, breastfeeding, and nutrition. These are the first chapters completed of an all new, 21st-century edition of our hallmark publication.


A Book for Midwives

A vital resource for practicing midwives and midwifery training programs around the world, this book covers the essentials of care before, during, and after birth. It has been updated to reflect new WHO/UNICEF guidelines and standards for mothers and newborns.


Where There Is No Dentist

This basic dental manual uses straightforward language and step-by-step instructions to discuss preventive care of teeth and gums, diagnosing and treating common dental problems, and includes a special chapter on oral health and HIV.


Helping Health Workers Learn

An indispensable resource for health educators, this book shows – with hundreds of methods, aids and learning strategies – how to make health education engaging and effective, and how to encourage community involvement through participatory education.


Disabled Village Children

This manual contains a wealth of clear and detailed information along with easy-to-implement strategies for all who are concerned about the well being of children with disabilities, especially those living in communities with limited resources.


A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities

Developed with the participation of women with disabilities in 42 countries, this guide helps women to overcome the barriers of social stigma and inadequate care to improve their general health, self-esteem, and independence as active members of their communities.


Helping Children Who Are Deaf

This groundbreaking book, packed with activities on how to foster language learning through both sign and oral approaches, supports parents and other caregivers in building the communication skills of babies and young children.


Helping Children Who Are Blind

The simple and engaging activities in this book can help parents, caregivers, teachers, health workers, rehabilitation workers, and others help a child with vision problems develop all of his or her capabilities.


HIV, Health and Your Community

A thorough, easy-to-understand guide for health workers confronting the HIV pandemic in their communities, it covers topics from biology of the virus to epidemiology to the mechanics of designing prevention programs, using language that is accessible to those with little medical training.


Pesticides Are Poison

This chapter from A Community Guide to Environmental Health, available as a 36-page booklet, offers information and activities to help reduce harm caused by pesticides, to treat people in pesticide emergencies, and to understand legal and political issues related to pesticide use.


Sanitation and Cleanliness

This chapter from A Community Guide to Environmental Health, available as a 48-page booklet, offers basic information on toilet building as well as learning activities to help communities understand and prevent sanitation-related health problems.


Water for Life

This chapter from A Community Guide to Environmental Health, available as a 48-page booklet, helps communities improve drinking water sources, treat water to make it safe for drinking, and organize water projects to protect access to clean water.


Advance Chapters from A Workers Guide to Health and Safety

Topics include work hazards and solutions in garment industries, social hazards and solutions in garment, electronics, and shoe industries, and activities for organizing worker-led campaigns. These chapters will be part of the upcoming publication, due to be released in 2012.


Also available: Hesperian books in Spanish, on CD, and books from other publishers

By visiting our bookstore, you can view and buy Hesperian titles in Spanish, on CD, and books from other publishers.




Other Resources

FAO - Download Assessment of the double burden of malnutrition in six case study countries (PDF zipped, 2.1Mb)

Asia: India: Education. Nationmaster. 26 Aug. 2005. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. 30 Aug. 2005

Bridging The Nutritional Divide. Swaminathan, M.S. The Little Magazine. 17th International Congress on Nutrition, Vienna, August 2001.

India Child Malnutrition Deaths. Chadha, Monica. BBC News, Mumbai. 27 Aug. 2005

Chronic Hunger and the Status of Women in India. Coonrod, S. Carol. The Hunger Project. 8 Aug. 2005

Demographics of India. Nationmaster. 26 Aug. 2005. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. 30 Aug. 2005

Detailed Facts and Statistics about India. Phrasebase. 2005. Phasebase. 26 June, 2005

Hunger Amidst Plenty. Dreze, Jean. India Together. Dec. 2003. Humanscape. 25 June 2005

Early Years. UNICEF. 6 Aug. 2005

Chronic Hunger and Obesity Epidemic. Gardner, Gary. Worldwatch Organization. 2 Aug. 2005

The Asian Diet Pyramid. Gifford, K. Oldways. Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust. 20 June 2005

India has an Enormous Under-Nutrition and Over-Nutrition Problems. Haddad, Dr. Lawrence. 29 June, 2005

India: Latest. UNICEF. 30 June 2005

Child Malnutrition: Myths and Solutions. Kumar, A.K. Shiva. The Little Magazine. UNICEF. 27 June 2005

Child Nutrition in India. Mishra, Vinod. East-West Center. National Family Health Survey Subjects Reports. 30 June 2005

Food Fight For Hunger. Prasenjit Maiti. Council for Development Studies. 4 Aug. 2005

Family Life: India. Rajani, Chetan. The Settlement Organization. Cultural Profiles Project. 30 June 2005

SC Rules on Preventing Starvation Deaths. India Together. Right to Food litigation. 27 Aug. 2005

The Plight of Children in India. Statesman. Food Relief. Bhaktivedanta International Charities. 15 Aug. 2005.

Women’s Education Can Improve Child Nutrition in India. National Family Health Survey Bulletin. Feb. 2000. International Institute for Population Sciences Mumbai.

World Hunger Awareness

Global Database on Child Growth & Malnutrition (FAO)

Food Security Statistics (FAO)

Information on Vegetarian & Vegan Diets (PCRM)

Malnutrition Matters

Malnutrition (WikiPedia)

Malnutrition (WHO)

Nutrition Publications (WHO)

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development: A Strategy for Large Scale Action (World Bank)

UN Millennium Development Goals

Women - The key to ending hunger (The Hunger Project)

World Hunger Map: [Asia] [Latin America & Caribbean] [Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe] [West Africa] [Southern Africa] [East & Central Africa]



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